In a Place Like No Other

Excerpts - The bar
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While he stocked coolers and shelves, crushed ice, and polished the mahogany bar, Frank enjoyed the few regulars, mostly fishermen and other locals who came in early and talked colorfully about Red Sox baseball, new government regulations, cost of fuel. Fishermen liked telling Frank where the best places were to meet women other than on Rocky Neck. Women fancied Frank's boyish smile and often invited him to the after hours parties they frequented. They'd leave an address and some secret code to be sure Frank could get in. One night Frank went to an after hours party, knocked at the door and said, "Hello," and a voice replied, "That's the password. Come on in."

The first night he'd opened, Frank had met Donna Pearce. "Born and bred right here in Glosta," she'd said before she'd introduced herself. Then she'd shoved her blunt-nailed, long-fingered hand out over the bar and said, "Hi, I'm Donna Peeahrs. Who're you?"

Frank introduced himself but Donna, tugging at a strap on her green tank top, had already resumed her story: "Moved ovah the bridge to Bevlee for a yeahhr then up to Rahllee. Hole in the wall but OK. Folks run a dinahr theahr. They used to cut fish at Gahrton's but they saved some money and bought the dinahr so they could make more and send me to college. Moved back here after I quit. College, y'know. I'm a native so why not. Rent 'n apahrtment ovahtown - Portugei Hill. Waitress at the dinahr during the day to help the folks out. Y'know? Usually go out at night. The Neck in the summer. New faces. Some of the locals I see here every summer but the others change. Fun place. Meet all kinds." She'd adjusted the other strap on her tank top and wiggled on her stool as she tugged at her tight jeans.

Donna'd been an art major at Bristol Hall in upstate New York but she'd left after a year because she thought it was a waste of money. She'd told Frank math and history were useless when all she wanted was to paint. "And," Donna'd said, "I really got sick of those dip shit rich girls who did nothing but fuck, drink and look for a husband. Pains in the ahs and full a shit. All they talked about were the tags on their clothes - designer names inside, prices outside. Just like some of the ahsholes up on the deck. Y'know, Frank?"

"Nice to meet you," Frank had said.

Donna, in a tank top and a snug pair of blue jeans, exuded an understated but enticing sexuality. Her warm, brown eyes wanted. But her short, straight, brown hair bouncing with the twists, tilts or nods of her head that punctuated her stories, always seemed frivolous. Her stride in clopping work boots, downplayed her lush curves, and her gruff speech contradicted her femininity. "Hello. Frankie boy," she'd say as she straddled a bar stool. "Gimme a beahr." Donna'd ignore, Frank's hello, bolting along, dispensing with any further civilities. "You know, Frank," she'd say, "well maybe ya don't, so I'm about to tell ya." Frank had to listen as Donna'd harangue about something - anything - presently on her mind.

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