第四章:素食主义者(托尼·奈顿)

As he locked his front door, Mickey Marcolina spoke into his cell phone. “卡罗尔,我请 没有 有一个奶酪牛排. 我跟你说了,我要去南街的吉姆家见乔伊. 你 know how that place smells—the aroma must have clung to my clothes.”

“We can’t be having any secrets between us if 这 is gonna work, Mickey.”

“根本没有. 我没吃牛排,童子军的荣誉.”

“我希望不是. 为什么会有人想吃牛? 奶牛是一种可爱的动物.”

“我知道,宝贝. And anyway, people have been turning up dead after eating those sandwiches. I just heard on the radio there was another one last night out by St. 乔的.他看了看手机上的时间. “宝贝,我得走了. 今晚见. 再见.”

Mickey walked up South Delhi Street, which was really little more than an alley. 人行道上到处都是不平的, spaces in the pavement had been cracked opened to host small trees, 而其他的, 新的混凝土块暴露了老树的位置, 太大了,不适合在街上走, 已经被删除. All of the surrounding homes featured chest-high picture windows. Tucked alongside some of the stone front steps were plantings in washtub-sized plastic containers.

Out on Montrose Street a guy was trying to park his SUV in a space far too small. 他倒车时撞到了一辆克莱斯勒汽车的保险杠上,保险杠上的警铃响了起来. Mickey shook his head; people lived in 16-foot wide houses and bought 18-foot long cars and couldn’t understand why things 没有 work out.

当他在10号街向北转弯时,他的电话响了. 又是安吉拉. 她今天早上打过电话. 米基知道这是怎么回事,所以他拒绝了电话.

He turned right onto Christian Street, heading in the direction of his car. Coming toward him from the far end of the block was a skinny old woman laden with packages.  一条牵着皮带的小狗拖在她后面, 停下来嗅每一个消防栓, 路标, 和电线杆. As he said hello and made to pass her, the woman said, “Michael, I’m so glad to see you. 我去过市场了. 来帮我拿这些袋子.”

“夫人. DeSantis,我不能. 我已经迟到了. 我要见一个客户——”

她把袋子塞进他抗议的怀里. “你会没事的. 它不是很远.” She shuffled along slowly, stopping for the dog to sniff at a signpost. “你知道,钱不是万能的.布鲁图斯把柱子喷了一下. 夫人. 德桑蒂斯接着说:“你父亲好吗?”

He grimaced as he struggled with the bags, but said, “He’s doing a lot better, 夫人. D. 谢谢你的关心.”

“好. 我会为他祈祷的,” she said as Brutus investigated the rear tire of a bicycle that was chained to an iron fence.

“我真的很赶时间,夫人. D.所以,如果365安卓官方app下载能再快一点——”

“你们年轻人,总是匆匆忙忙的. 这是不健康的. 我的医生,洛普雷斯蒂医生,你认识他吗? 他的办公室在Passyunk街. 可爱的男人. 他告诉我,为了我的心,我应该每天散步, 但它应该是一个很好的, 容易走, 不是一个竞走.米奇重新调整了包装. “我希望这些东西对你来说不会太重? 我的天,你是个年轻人. 你真的需要多锻炼了,迈克尔. 你吃得好吗? When we get to my house, you come in and have some of my delicious wedding soup. 我昨天刚做的,配上新鲜的鸡汤 莴苣菜. 哦,还有那些小肉丸子.”

米奇提高了抓包的能力. “卡罗尔不想让我吃那种东西. D.”

她摇了摇头. “那一个. 要我说,她有一半疯了. 素食主义者,对吧?”

“素食.”

不管怎样,她的骨头上都需要一点肉. 无拉枚考拉. 没有屁股.布鲁特斯在一辆丰田鹰牌汽车的右前轮上做了标记. “我以为她已经和你分手了?”

“365安卓官方app下载复合了.”

“嗯.布鲁图对着街对面的一个男人咆哮道. 夫人. DeSantis said, “Isn’t it a shame about those children being poisoned? 婴儿. 他们的父母一定悲痛欲绝.”

米奇又一次畏缩起来,想起了安吉拉. “是啊,太糟糕了.”

还会因为吃了三明治而死——悲剧.她为自己祝福. “I see all those people standing in line at Ninth and Federal, waiting for sandwiches. 我不明白. Maybe it’s all those neon lights—it looks like Las Vegas over there, all lit up. Me, I’ll wait in line at the market because I have to, but for a sandwich? No.”

“这些牛排很好吃,夫人. D.”

“拐角处就有好吃的三明治.”

另一名妇女牵着一只施普林格西班牙猎犬走慢了下来. Brutus and the other dog had to circle and sniff each other’s butts before moving on. 夫人. DeSantis said to Mickey, “Have you started practicing for the parade yet?”

米奇转移了包裹. “不,我去年退出了俱乐部. I had a lot of fun with the fellows, but I don’t have time any more. 告诉你个秘密,我一直很讨厌那种音乐.”

“我喜欢弦乐乐队. 你在弗拉林杰,对吧?”

“No. 贵格会教徒的城市.”

夫人. 德桑蒂斯说:“哦,没错. Mr. 德桑蒂斯在费尔科,愿他的灵魂安息. 他从不错过游行, except for the two years he was away in the army—that was before we were married. 天啊,那是在你出生前.他们在街角左转,上了珀西街. 夫人. DeSantis started to rummage for her keys, but stopped and looked up. “I remember when you 没有 have to lock your front door in 这 neighborhood. 在有色人种搬进来之前.”

“夫人. D.你不能这么说. It’s just wrong on so many— the people in the market are Asians, for one—”

“这就是我说的:有色人种.”

布鲁特斯嗅了嗅米奇的鞋子.

“你不应该说有色人种,太太. D. 这不是好的.” Brutus hopped up, wrapped his forepaws around Mickey’s right leg and began humping. “啊,夫人. D.你能不能让布鲁特斯停下来?米奇试图挣脱.

“哦,他很好. Now if I can just find my keys, we’ll go inside and I’ll heat you up a nice bowl of soup.” She fished through her purse until she found them and then opened her front door.

米奇从布鲁图多情的怀抱中挣脱出来, went inside and put the shopping bags down on the kitchen counter. Then he turned around and walked past her, saying on his way out, “Thanks, 夫人. D.,但我做不到. 待会儿见.”

* * *

Mickey glanced around the sandwich shop as he entered and saw a man his age with a Fu Manchu moustache seated at a table in the back. 他们互相挥手致意, 然后米奇转过身来, 走到柜台前, 和那个穿白围裙的胖乎乎的年轻人聊了聊. “最近怎么样,菲尔? 你检查油?他握紧拳头, 把他的手臂弯在身前,向旁边摇晃, 就像他在凿冰.

“只要有机会,米克. 你要吃什么?”

“嗯,给我一个蔬菜研磨机. 还有一瓶水.”

“哦,你又和卡罗在一起了?”

米奇从前面的窗户往外看. “是的,是的.”

菲尔擦了擦柜台. “她还是个素食主义者,对吧??”

米奇检查他的指甲. “素食.”

“是的,素食. 嘿,太好了. 好女孩.菲尔拿起一个三明治卷,纵向切开.

“是的,谢谢. 给我也来点薯条.”

“你明白了.”

米奇又环视了一下店里,说:“你还好吧? 这地方看起来有点空.”

菲尔左右看了看,然后低声说话, “过去三天, 生意从好到坏. 那些吃坏牛排的孩子.”

“是的,但那些三明治都来自食品车.”

“没关系. 这是伤害每个人. 所有人听到的都是“有毒的芝士牛排”? 他们不在乎自己来自哪里.菲尔做完三明治,把它放在一个纸盘上. “我生火烤架并不值得.”

米奇付了钱,走过空荡荡的桌子,走到后面, 把三明治和饮料放在桌子上. “公寓.”

平底鞋站起来,用胳膊搂住米奇. "嘿,伙计,你知道什么好? 你的爸爸?” 他比米奇高, 他穿着一件及手指尖的黑色翻领皮夹克, 黑色牛仔裤, 还有黑色尖头靴子.

“好多了,Flats,谢谢.” Mickey reached around and patted his cousin on the back with both hands. 他看了看两张桌子. 他们吃完午饭,有两个女人坐在那里喝着咖啡. 一个抬头. 米奇笑了. 她把目光转向别处.

公寓耸耸肩. “他们在诺里斯敦又定了一个日期.他又坐了下来.

Mickey took off his suit jacket, put it on the back of his chair, and sat. He rolled up his sleeves, and flipped his tie over his right shoulder. “把文件给我. 我再申请一次延期. 你把这件事拖得越久越好.他喜形于色,现在如鱼得水了. “If it ever 做 go to trial, we’ll hook you up with a guy I know in Montgomery County.他咬了一口三明治,里面有烤辣椒、茄子和蘑菇. 令人惊讶的是,它并不坏.

“我宁愿要你.”

Mickey held his hand up as he chewed, then spoke, gesturing as he did. “我就会与你同在. 让这个人来处理会更好. 如果有的话 去那么远. 法院的人我都不认识. 但我的朋友拉尔夫总是在那里进进出出. 他在黑马长大. 他认识那里的每个人.他微笑着,两次扬起眉毛.

“好吧,我看得出来.弗拉特咬了一口三明治. “菲尔做的三明治很棒. 你买了什么??”

米奇看了看他的,低声说. “蔬菜磨床.”

“哦,你又和卡罗在一起了?”

“是的,是的.他咬了一口,看着纸盘子.

“伟大的. 她还是个素食主义者?”

米奇边吃边说. “素食.”

“她对这件事很认真,嗯?”

米奇在店里四处看了看. “嘿,还不算太糟.”

“不,不,你可能更好.”

米奇说:“你呢? 你没吃到牛排?”

“你在跟我开玩笑? 之后这些孩子? 没有办法. 我只吃约翰家的三明治和烤猪肉——”

“不是尼克的?”

弗拉特摇摇头. “约翰的,一直都是. 施耐德和韦卡柯,爸爸. 还有我妈妈做的饭. 没有更多的美味.”

“你妈妈好吗??”

“她很好. 她让我告诉你,你应该给安吉拉打电话.”

米奇了. “是的,是的,我知道. 她男朋友被关在那东西后面了.”

“你还没见过他?”

“杰克? 是的,几次. 看上去挺好的.”  He took another bite and then said, “First cousins or not, Angela’s tough. 我不期待你们的谈话.”

弗拉特笑了,翻了翻眼睛.

* * *

Mickey drove up Kelly Drive, heading to a hearing at the 14th District. 在那里, 他会争辩说,他的年轻客户并不是一个真正的窃贼, that he’d only broken into the home on Coulter Street as a foolish, juvenile prank…even though he was 19 now and had been caught doing the same thing twice before. One way or the other, the 孩子 was going to have to find a new way to amuse himself.

米奇的电话响了. 他回答说:“嗨,妈妈,你好吗??”

She said, “Anna DeSantis just told me that you got back together with Carol. 是这样吗?”

“哦,天哪,妈妈,这就是你叫我来的原因吗? 给我休息.”

“好吧,好吧. 抓住. 有人想和你谈谈.”

在那里 was a pause and then Angela said, “What, you think you’re gonna duck me forever?”

To himself, Mickey cursed and then said into the phone, “Angela, hi. 我没有躲着你. 我真的很忙. 我本来打算今晚打给你的,真的. 我有很多事要做. 我比两条鸡巴的狗还忙.”

“是的,是的,是的. 你得放下那些破事,或者至少先搁置一下. 乔什被关起来了. 他们指控他犯有谋杀罪.”

Mickey negotiated a sharp curve in the roadway and said, “Angela, I know about 这 case. 他们带他来问他一些问题. 这和收费不一样——”

“我才不管它跟——”

在电话里,米基听到他妈妈大喊, “语言!”

安吉拉说:“对不起,玛丽阿姨.她对米奇说:“我不在乎这个。. 他们扣押了他的卡车. They say they gotta check it out, try and find out where the poison came from.”

米奇说:“嗯,听起来很合理。”

“合理的我的屁股. 他们要把它拆了.”

“安吉拉,他们需要做一个调查——”

“他们可以调查 这.米奇描绘了这个手势. Like everyone in the family, Angela had to speak with her hands, even on the phone. “乔希需要他的卡车谋生.米奇认识他的表弟. Angela would be far less concerned with her boyfriend’s well-being than with how his lack of funds might affect her quality of life. 她继续说道:“你必须得上车. Right-a-way!”  Mickey could hear her banging on the kitchen counter, accenting her words.

他吸了一口气,说, “不可以做, 孩子,然后把电话从他耳边拿开,安吉拉开始大喊大叫. When she paused for air, he broke in and said, “Doesn’t Josh have his own lawyer? 他的家人收养了他?”

“是啊,一个没有老二的奇迹. 他和其他人一样,一个真正的 medigon. 说实话,米奇,他两只手都找不到屁股. 他全家——真是一群人. 你得做点什么. 打电话给你认识的人.” She changed her affect and said, “Come on, Mick, you’re the best. 杰克需要你. 我需要你.”

米奇叹了口气. "把他律师的电话发给我. I’ll call him later 这 afternoon and see what’s going on with your boyfriend’s truck.”

“他妈的律师.”

“安琪拉,语言!”

“对,对不起.致米奇: 我得处理这事,米克.她停顿了一下,然后说:“你得起诉这座城市。.”

米奇不由自主地笑了. 现在,365安卓官方app下载要开始了, 他认为. 安吉拉看到了发薪日. 他说,“你不能因为政府做了调查就起诉他们. 人被杀了.”

"那365安卓官方app下载为什么不起诉那个臭侦探呢?”

“什么婊子侦探?”

“哦,你应该看看这个. 真正的公主. 觉得她的东西不臭. 对不起,玛丽阿姨!” 米奇了. 安吉拉接着说:“她叫切尔西,看在上帝的份上. 切尔西西蒙. 她是一个 moulignan.”

“别那样说,安吉拉. 它不是很好.他经过一辆本田. “我认识那个侦探. 我在法庭上见过她. 她很好.”

“好? 你站在哪一边? 天啊,米奇,我真不敢相信你——”

“我得走了,安吉拉. 把律师的电话发给我.米奇挂断了电话,把铃声静音了.

穿过草莓大厦桥下, 他打开了汽车收音机, 在报道中抓住了播音员:“还有本地新闻, 又有一个人死于芝士牛排,这次是在德雷塞尔大学的校园里. 死者是今早被发现的, 躺在宿舍地板上没有反应, 桌上有个吃了一半的三明治. 医护人员在现场宣布死者死亡. 当局说, . . .”