A Good Day | Teen Ink

A Good Day

July 16, 2018
By Fifteen SILVER, Plattsburgh, New York
Fifteen SILVER, Plattsburgh, New York
5 articles 1 photo 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
Missed it by that much-Maxwell Smart


          It was a cold, rainy sort of night. That sort of night where the rain soaks into you so deeply hat you start to worry about trenchfoot in your elevator shoes. Danny was wearing elevator shoes. A good pair, too. The added height looked completely natural. Subtle as a Gershwin oboe in a quiet measure. He fiddled with the zipper on his kit bag. As far as Danny was concerned, that kit bag was the ark of the covenant and the golden fleece all rolled into one. With every passing second he spent in the rain, Danny could feel the felt of his hat grow heavier on his troubled cranium. He had a lot to think about tonight. He’d made the right decision. He could feel it. At the same time, though, it troubled him. Danny Clarence Howard had always considered himself an honest man. Even when he agreed to the job, he’d been able to justify it in his head. It’s all for Leslie, he thought, All for her. But even from the very start, there had always been a part of Danny that knew why he was doing it. That was the part of Danny that was doing most of the thinking now. That part was telling him his decision was the correct one. Under other circumstances such acts would be sinful. But under these? With Leslie sick and Tom up the river? Under circumstances such as these in which he now sat, the job had been the path of God.

                “Tommy still all by his stony lonesome in the hoosegow, Dan?” Danny started, instigating about a half a gallon of water to slosh heavily off his brim. The hat was at this point so ubiquitously permeated with pre-miracle wine that no more could soak in, hence the mass H2O exodus from brim to rear. Danny was briefly struck dumb by an icy sensation below the deck. Sam, either not noticing or taking it as an invitation to enjoy the melody of his own voice for a while, continued. “That’s a right rough spot he’s in there, Dan. You’d think by now they’d have gotten the memo out West. About prohibition and all. Still, Tommy was doin’ the lord’s work out there, wouldn’t you say, Dan?” Danny, still in a state of some discomfort, rasped a response. “H-how do you mean, ‘the lord’s work’ Sam?” Sam’s face rested into its favorite shape: a snide grin. “Waterin’ the Winos if you catch my drift, Dan.” Danny suppressed an eye roll, so as to keep his favorite set of teeth. A good driver, Sam was, but his humor was not terrifically subtle. Suddenly cognizant of social expectations, Sam left the pool of self-satisfaction that was a well delivered piece of wit and turned to Danny. “And how’ve you been these days Dan? Aside from Tom and Leslie and all. So sorry to here about Leslie, Dan. Really is a shame. You-“ Deciding to end the soliloquy of sympathy before it began Danny cut Sam off. “Oh, you know me Sam. It’s always a good day.”

                “Amen to that.” Sam agreed. It was a good day. Good job, good pay, and now good company. Good company for the sort of man Sam was. Sam was an establishment in this town. Anyone from Billy the street tough to Willem Burns the shot caller could employ Sam and his Plymouth. Mint green with a pink finish and an engine stole from something much more powerful. She was a Picasso in appearance, a Pavlova in performance, and a Stradivarius in function. In the command of a novice, she coppers’d stop her in minutes, but in the hands of a master, she could maneuver so deftly and blend so well that you could drive from your reserved seat in hell through the pearly gates above without Satan or Saint Peter taking any notice of a mint and pink Plymouth escaping damnation. Yes, in the hands of a master, she was grace and ease. And Sam Bowing was a master. He deserved every cent he was getting off this job, and if all went to plan, soon he would deserve every cent Danny was getting too.

                “You’re g-gonna meet me at l-Lydia’s, right Sam?’ Danny was jittery. Sam took note of and solace in this fact. There was no way in any realm of any reality that Danny would see the switch coming. “Sure thing, Dan. Best quiche in the city. No idea why she’s servin’ it, not usually her forte but it’s fantastic. Much better than Sally’s, huh?” Sam brayed like a donkey, and was slightly hurt that this brilliant observational comedy had failed to induce a smile in his companion, or even ease the jitteriness plaguing his shabby form. “Hey, hey! Ease up, Dan-O, soon you’ll be able to buy a whole hospital for Leslie and a couple of judges besides!” This did cheer Danny slightly. It had all been for Leslie, after all, and it did Danny some good to visualize a positive outcome to all this toil and sin.

                Sam made for his car. A porter was loading Danny’s luggage inside. Sam grinned. “You comin’ Danny boy?” Danny shook his head just perceptibly enough. Sam shrugged. He was still getting paid whether the man came sopping with cloud juice or dry as a bone in the Sahara. The guy was already wet enough, who was Sam to deny him the chance at even more moisture? “All right with me Dan, just don’t soak the payload too much! See you at Lydia’s!” Sam honked and Danny waved, just like two ordinary men, friends even, seeing each other off. Sam, never one for speed limits, even in weather like this, squealed out of the hotel lot, hydroplaning all the way. Sam chuckled. Danny had no idea that he was never going to make it to Lydia’s, and the only thing he was going to receive was a hole between the brows, a pair of concrete galoshes, and a long, pleasant nap with the sea life and refuse at the bottom of the Hudson. A bit of a drive to get there, but that’s what Sam did for a living. Barely an inconvenience. It was a shame,  Danny wasn’t a bad guy, after all. He should have known what he was getting into though, no honor among thieves and all that. Sam turned to see the payload he’d had the porter lift off Danny in the lot. The box was there. All he needed now was to get to Lydia’s, give it to the boss and double not only his salary, but his import in the city. Sam hit a bump The box leapt from the backseat and crashed to the carpet. It came open, spilling its contents. Sam’s eyes goggled at them. A razor, a can of shaving cream and a toothbrush. He should have been goggling his eyes at the road.

                Danny smiled quietly to himself. The rain was starting to let up. He slipped the porter a thick envelope. The handed him the payload. His payload. He opened it and took it in for a minute. Hell if he knew why the boss wanted it so bad, but want it he did, and he would pay one man alone more than a man with help. He was suddenly acutely aware of the pungent scent of burning rubber. He was also aware that he’d stepped in gum. It was no problem, though, it would be easy to remove. Easy as cutting a brake line.

                The porter nodded to him as he left. “Have a good day, sir.” Danny smiled at him. “It’s always a good day.”



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