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
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