Skolnik Page 6
what our forefathers had in mind when they framed the Constitution."
     When he wasn't at the race track or the ballpark Tom usually spent his free time in the poolroom where his bookmaker sat at a card table in the back sorting slips. It was a pleasant environment, populated by high school kids and working stiffs like himself. Tom didn't play much pool. He was more interested in placing his bet and then stood around like everyone else watching the action with half an eye and only occasionally getting interested and putting down a sawbuck or two. The regulars all had the green poolroom pallor and Runyunesque nicknames like the Genius and Max the Ax and Tooty-Fruity. Tom was sometimes called Phil after the old Philip Morris ad. They were maybe a colorful bunch but they sure as hell weren't going anywhere.
     Dick did long haul driving and knew the waitresses on highways all across the land. They told him their troubles

and he told them his. That's how it was on the road. Everyone had troubles. For years he was faithful to his wife but then she'd gotten sick so sometimes he'd take one of these waitresses back to her bungalow or trailer and they'd have a few drinks, usually with a kid sleeping in the other room, and go to bed. Once he was hijacked and got pistol-whipped. They caught the gang but he couldn't identify anyone. One of the cops called him chickenshit and one of the hijackers winked at him. That riled him. He'd have nailed them if he could. He wasn't afraid of anyone. Dick was his own man. He'd been a brawler in his younger years. He'd fought with everyone, his brother who thought he'd been screwing around with his wife, which he was, his brother-in-law who called him a thief, which he wasn't, and finally his old man, who he popped in the mouth before taking off for good. Fuck them all, was what he said.