Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Excerpt from B is for Bear

1. That's Amore!

The lights beaming off the disco ball played tricks with the eye as they danced through Jimmy DiFreno's chest hair. He was quite proud of his chest hair. It was part of his culture to be proud of his chest hair.
He wasn't much to look at. He didn't have the classic chiseled looks of a Rudy Valentino or an Antonio Sabato Jr. One that could make the ladies swoon while simultaneously being a silent killer. No, he had the stereotypical looks of a James Gandolfini: Six-foot-two, two hundred seventy-five pounds, give or take. He knew that if he kept eating the way he did, he would most likely end up like the late great Gandolfini, but boy, did he love his gabagool. And spaghetti and meatballs. And pasta fazool. And pie. You get the picture. Not that he wasn't a good-looking guy in his own way; it's just hard to get people to believe that he wasn't in the mob with his appearance being the way it was. I mean, he was in the mob, in fact, he was the don; I'm just saying he couldn't hide the fact.
He usually dressed up very nicely in Armani suits, but when it came time to leave the cozy confines of his office in the back and get down on the dance floor of his own night club, Stella, he donned a pair of jeans and a button-down shirt, unbuttoned halfway, so that his marvelous chest hair could rustle like dried leaves in the wind. He also wore a gold chain, which further accented said chest hair, as well as said Italian heritage.
He was at Stella practically every day; however, he only came out on the floor a couple nights a week. The rest of the time was spent in the back room, doing books, or other types of lowdown, dirty business that was certainly not on the up and up. Stella was a front for a more lucrative, and less tax-collectible, business. Obviously. Every decent mafia crew had several legitimate businesses: laundromats, restaurants, night clubs, assassins-for-hire, birthday clowns, and on and on. A mob without a front to hide behind was like a freight train carrying a cargo of drugs and running over a beautiful Mexican woman who looked an awful lot like Salma Hayek. Not sure what that means? Jimmy did.
He often got mistaken for a bear. No, not a real bear, since that would be weird to have a real bear in a club. Keep up, dummies. Since he was hairy, and large, and (some may even say) cuddly, occasionally he would be hit on by other men. He had an ironic vibe about him that most of the overly macho men of the bear persuasion were guilty of affecting. Like Freddie Mercury or Rob Halford, that kind of thing. It didn't happen too often, since this wasn't a gay club. But it happened often enough. And when it did, he would put on airs like he was offended. In reality, though, he was honored. Not that he'd ever have sex with them. He didn't swing that way. Except when it came to Joe.
Most everyone in the mafia, and especially the dons, had a little goomah on the side. A don without a goomah was like a bald man picking up spare change. So that's why it came to Jimmy as a shock that his wife Charlene had no idea. Of course, there was a possibility that she did know and just chose to never bring it up, but he highly doubted it. You see, Charlene's father was Don Figarazzi, the don of the most famous Figarazzi family. The funny thing was, his name was also Don.
Anyway, when he got to the age that he was "too old for this crap", he handed the reigns to Jimmy. Sadly, he had no sons of his own, and since Charlene was the apple of Don's eye, it was his decision to give Jimmy the job. That way, his grandson could continue when he was old enough. Of course, this pissed off a lot of actual family members, including his brother Don, his nephew Donald, and his three cousins, Don, Don, and Timmy, but Don's decision was Don's decision, and so it stood.
Jimmy's father-in-law knew that he had a goomah on the side; it didn't really bother him. It wasn't his wrath he was concerned about. It was Charlene's. If she found out, not only would she cut his balls off, but she would also convince her father to have him taken out. Even though Jimmy was don, Don was still the don of the don, and there were plenty of actual Figarazzis that would have been more than happy to do the job.
Don Figarazzi would certainly have killed him if he knew just who Jimmy was fooling around on Charlene with. By now you probably have guessed that I am talking about Joe, since I mentioned it a while back. You see, homosexuality is frowned upon in the mafia community. It's a sign of weakness. In Italian dialect they call it a fanook, and Jimmy most definitely wasn't one. Now Joe, he wasn't so sure about, but really, who was he to cast aspersions? Joe was his capo, his best friend, and at times, his lover. That didn't necessarily make him gay, right?
You see, Joe saved Jimmy's ass in 'Nam. Joe nursed his dog to health when he didn't have a paw to stand on. Joe gave him a place to stay when he got out of the army and had no place to go. Joe rescued his mother from a burning building. He and Joe opened their first hot dog stand together, back when they were just kiddies in Brooklyn. Joe tipped him off on some winning lottery numbers. Joe gave him grape soda when he needed a fine carbonated beverage. All this you may already know; I'm not sure how much Jimmy has divulged to you. And tonight, he got himself a nice hummer in the bathroom. Not the truck, although he had one of those as well. And that would not fit in the bathroom. By hummer, I meant he got his dick sucked by Joe. Oh? I didn't have to explain that? You understood that already by the context? My bad.

Anyway, enough about Joe for now. The evening at Stella was at full swing, but Jimmy had his fair share of paperwork to do before he went home. 

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