Here’s the thing…
Every time I close my eyes, I see something different.
I’d like to think the cinema of my dreams is playing a double feature but it’s a bit like a comedy cartoon night on Fox.
But these dreams are nothing to laugh about.
Once again there’s a new instalment of an old feature, and we’re back on the treasure hunt.
Feeling a little miffed at Boggs’ dismissal, I decided to go on my own fact-finding mission.
Of course, it depended a lot on whether the Cossatino’s still hung out at the same bar, and whether I’d get a foot in the door.
I was going to talk to Nadia, or at least try to.
The Lantern Inn was about as far from the image the name threw up, it was more a place where respectable people wouldn’t be caught dead in.
And, as I recall, a few had. Seemingly respectable people anyway.
It was the place to go if you were looking for three things, not necessarily all at once, trouble, girls, and drugs. Soggy, a friend of Boggs and I, had always looked older than his age and was able to get into places like the Lantern Inn, mainly to buy us beer, and we would go down to the beach and drink it before going home.
When I found a spot to keep an eye on the place and assess whether it was safe or not to go in, now I was old enough, I saw old man Gattle, Soggy’s foster father stagger out, on his way home. It brought back memories of Joel, Soggy’s real name.
Soggy got his name because he was always falling in the water, whether it was a pool or the ocean, and one day, after too many beers, he fell in and didn’t come back up. Boggs and I almost finished up in jail for that, since we were with him, but there was no way we could rescue him as it was in a spot where there was often a rip, and he had been carried away before we could get to him.
And, the body was never recovered. I thought, at the time, he may have jumped in, because his life with foster parents was no fairy tale, and he had suffered. Of course, those foster parents were friends with the Benderby’s so they were never held to account.
It would be easy to lie in wait in a dark alley and simply hit him over the head with a four by two, but I doubt it would make me feel any better.
I watched him stagger and fall several times before I looked back at the Inn. In days past, the patrons often spilled out onto the sidewalk where there used to be tables and chairs. Now, it was just the Inn, and it didn’t look like many people were there.
Had it changed from a den of iniquity to something more respectable?
A large truck, an F350 by the look of it, stopped outside the front entrance, the passenger door opened and what looked like Nadia, or another Amazonian woman, got out. She spoke to the driver, slammed the door, and the truck left.
The light over the door shone on her face, yes, it was a woman, and yes, it was Nadia. By herself? Was that Vince who dropped her off, or Willy, her younger brother, and why didn’t they join her?
I guess I was not going to get any answers from where I was sitting.
Time to make my first foray into the place my mother always told me never to step foot in.
© Charles Heath 2019-2021