Chetspeak on Sunday
– and came to another brick house, much smaller than the first. Bernie gave it a careful look. “Urbane?” he said, stepping up to the door. “Would that be the word?” He was on his own. I waited for the answer. Bernie froze and said, “Oh, my God! Flowers!” “Flowers” was the answer, not “urbane”? That was as far as I could take it. Meanwhile Bernie was glancing around wildly. He spotted some yellow flowers growing in a window box, sprang over and snatched them out, then returned to the door, the flowers in one hand and a surprising amount of that moist black potting soil on his shirt. Bernie’s other hand was in knocking position when the door began to open from the inside. A lovely big smile spread across Bernie’s face and then just hung there in the strangest way when a man stepped outside. The man wore a suit, had a neatly trimmed little beard but no mustache, a look that always bothered me, no telling why, and carried a briefcase made of fine, lovely-smelling leather that aroused a funny feeling in my teeth right away, a feeling that only gnawing can satisfy, as you may or may not know. He paused, rocking back slightly on his heels. We’ve seen that before. Bernie’s a pretty big dude and I’m not exactly a midget myself, in fact, a hundred-plus pounder, as I’d heard Bernie say more than once.
– from PAW AND ORDER.
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