Friday, May 22, 2015

Freddie Mercury and the Intervention

 Catalpa is your typical Irish bar located in Hell's Kitchen New York. It's got your knotted wood bars, brass rails, New York sports memorabilia and Black 47 round the clock on the jukebox. Its filled with local firemen, cops, construction workers and sordid souls, served by off the boat Irish bartenders. The romanticism of the bar explodes in the winter. It is decorated in pine boughs and glittering white lights. The fireplace roars constantly giving off rustic smells  and a smokey reminder of winters past, but now it is spring and the remnants of St. Patrick's Day remain with  green beads and a random shamrock strewn about.

Jimmy wipes the bar clean, taking a few years of polish with it around the twentieth circular motion. Springsteen's Darkness on the Edge of Town is the album of choice today. As Bruce strains the lyrics ... He was standin' in the door, I was standin' in the rain. With the same hot blood burning in our veins. Adam raised a the door opens Jimmy adjusts his black leather wristband.

A woman with coffee colored, shoulder length hair enters flanked by two men: one muscular, the other romantically nerdish. Jimmy nods at them as they walk to the bar. The three take seats, the woman looking frustrated, orders first.

"Em, Guinness, three please."

"I'm curious to meet her, aren't you, Abbi?"

"That bitch killed my son!"

The three men stop and look at Abbi. Jimmy places the first partially filled Guinness to the side and grabs a second pint glass. He keeps his eyes on Abbi even as he begins the next pour.

"Abbi, but you know he isn't really dead. My mom's back in Belfast watching him. It was just part of the story." Liam, the book-lover looking one, puts his hand on Abbi's arm.

"And since I haven't been killed off yet, I suggest you take your hand off her arm off my wife, lover boy." David places his hand on Abbi's thigh as his gruff voice wards off Liam, the potential suitor and Abbi's best friend.  

"Look, folks." Jimmy interrupts before David knocks Liam to the ground with a twisted look, "It takes some getting used to, this whole I'm a character but really exist outside of the story reality that we live in."

The second glass is placed to the side and Gerard grabs a the third pint as the door opens. This time, a petite pixie and an elegant looking man with black hair enter the bar. They are greeted with the stares of the other four.

"Assuming we're in the right place? Red Square Dawn 2001 and 2012. She left us in Russia."

Abbi turns and reaches her hand towards the pixie, "Abbi Connolly. She killed my boyfriend, son, and I think she's going to make my da and my husband here "disappear.""

"Ileana. This is my husband Jory." Their hands clasp in a very firm handshake.

Jory, who is more the stature of Liam, shakes hands with him first, then with David.

"Two vodka tonics." Jory reaches his hand out to Jimmy, who has placed the Guinness in front of his first guests. "Jimmy."

Liam surrenders his bar stool to Ileana as Jory tries to maneuver away from the always intimidating David.

"So what is the actual plan?" David drinks down a quarter of his Guinness while he waits for an answer.

"Well, "Jory begins, "don't we want to get 'er here, and make sure everything's alright?"

"We should give her a piece of our mind. At least some of you have gotten closure, or gotten your stories..."

The door opens again and all turn to see what characters will walk in next. As they turn their backs to the bar, a silver cat, striped in black with the biggest of eyes walks the length of the bar. He stretches out next to David's pint.

"Freddie, what did I tell you about walkin' on the bar?" Jimmy scolds the cat as if he will answer back.

Shocked by the attention their receive as soon as they walk through the door, Rose halts, her husband Patrick bumps into her. "I guess we've found the place, Patrick. We aren't late, are we?"

Just as Ileana is about to speak, the silver cat stretches and shakes until it knocks over David's Guinness. When the brown slurry reaches the cat, he scurry's off the bar and is soon out the door past Rose and Patrick Flannigan.

"You seem very calm for someone who just lost his cat to the New York City streets." Patrick makes the move past his new wife and towards the bar. Rose shakes her head.

"Give me some credit," Jimmy hold his hands up towards the new guests as if requesting a minute for the scene to play out, "he'll be back. Beer?" He asks the handsome yet scruffy professor and professional pastime hockey player.

"Just for me. Seltzer and cranberry for my expecting wife."

"Hey, congratulations." Jimmy gives Patrick a very hearty handshake.

"This is exactly wha' I'm talking about."  Jory crosses his arms as Ileana slides the stool to a tired looking Rose. "Look, you two are movin' about your lives, and while she might not have been the best to us in the stories, we get to live our lives outside of her bounds." Jory has extinguished his breath in that one outburst. He waits.

"So you're saying we give her some slack for just tossing us to the side for so long?" Abbi stares at Jory. "Let's see, we've heard she's got work, then she has to make dinner, but she has time to go see all these concerts or train for a race? Must be nice."

"Bi, why don't you just wait for her to get here so she can explain herself." Liam crosses his arms, moves his legs shoulder width apart and waits.

"And you, since she's left us hangin', how's your love life, even with this so called freedom we have without her hoverin' about our lives like some devil will care puppet master?" Just as Abbi points her finger and stands, the door opens.

Two gorgeous woman and one gorgeous man enters the scene. The women, both taller than the seeming surf-god, are still going on about Rob Lowe and the Direct TV commercials before they stop long enough to order two martinis, dry and dirty.

"Samuel?" Abbi has lost her breath while David hugs his brother, lost somewhere between 1981, 2001, and 2012. "Shit, where've you been?"

"This is gonna be awkward." Liam smiles as he avoids Abbi's tongue lashing.

"Honey, what's up with those three?" The brunette in a pant suit waiting for a martini asks while placing a hand on Liam's arm and giving it a slight squeeze.

"So, Abbi was secretly dating Samuel before he was killed. He's David's brother, who Abbi married."

"Sounds like the opportunity of lifetime to me." The brunette winks at the taller blonde who is now flanking Liam.

"And who are you here with?" The tall blonde's deep, graveled voice startles the meek Liam.

He maneuver's his manicured hand towards Liam's. "Glen. Pleasure's mine."

Following Liam shaking the hand twice the size of his own, the brunette follows suite. "Bernadette. The last anyone has heard from us West Wing was still on NBC."

Jimmy places the two martinis on the bar. "Ladies. Hope you like them."

"Don't you think that surfer guy looks like Caleb the biker? You know the one from that angel story?" A petite woman manifests herself next to Liam as the drag queens realize Liam has not interest in them. "A little older though...I'm Frankie. I own the place."

Liam stares at her.

"You speak, right? Liam was it? Thought the feisty one over there was gonna tear your heart out."

"Yeah, Abbi, emm, she gets that way. She's pretty passionate."

"Jimmy." Frankie nods as Jimmy grabs a bottle of Jameson and two shot glasses.

"Are you writing a follow up to your book?" She hands Liam the shot. 

"You read my book?" Liam downs the shot, runs his hand through his curly black hair, and blushes.

"Are you not used to people reading your books? I thought it was quite good. Besides, I do have a unique taste in literature. You should see my library sometime." She nurses the shot of whiskey.

"It's not a color television Frankie." Jimmy impatiently waits for the shot glass.

Frankie drinks the golden nectar and hands the glass in an exaggerated fashion to Jimmy. "Never ever hire an OCD bartender."

"You have a library?" Liam asks timidly.

Jimmy looks out across the bar as old friends, family acquaint. New friendships are formed as others not in the bar for the intended intervention are off living their free lives. This time the door opens, and a woman enters holding the cat that ran out to the Hell's Kitchen streets. She walks past the brothers catching up on old times, the women talking about marriage, the new relationship burgeoning thanks in part to two more shots of Jamesons, and she catches the eye of Abbigail Connolly.

"Freddie Mercury was running around outside of the bar again, Jimmy. Please keep a better eye on him." As she places the feline on the bar, Abbi walks up behind the woman.

"It's about time you got here. You know before Sam showed up, I was going to really give you a piece of my mind. I didn't realize that so many of us have to thank you - for even the really shitty times."

Their eyes meet.

"You were inspired by a character in one of my favorite childhood books and a really strong woman in the Bible, you now that Abigail?"

"Really? I didn't know that."

 Two drinks appear on the bar with a nod from Jimmy. "Ladies."

"Paula, thank you. In a way it was really an intervention for all of us, not just you."

"I try my best, you know that. I created you, I wouldn't completely neglect you. I know it feels like that though."

"No worries now. Why don't you come over and catch up. We all have a lot to tell you about."

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