He always hated the time change. That first day pissed him off more and more as the years flew by. Especially when the Bills lost. Just a fuckin rabbit punch he didn’t need, not this year. There was still just under 3 minutes left in the game when he turned it off.
“Fuckin losers. It’s like they fuckin discuss at halftime, just exactly how they are going to lose this game.“, he mumbled out loud.
“What d’ya say honey?”, his wife said from the other room.
“Nuttin’ honey.”, he said with a smile, thinking about the old commercial. “Just bitching about The Bills.” The smile was already gone.
“Oh, did they lose?”
“Not yet, but they’re about to.”, he said, letting out a mild sigh.
He knew it would be pitch black outside by the time he got to Bryan’s house. Thank God his wife and kids got a ride with Gittere. Let Pete deal with her crazy ass. Lacing up his new boots, he started thinking again of how much the old neighborhood has changed. How many people have grown old and died.He thought maybe he’d take the long way to Bryan’s house. There was some places, one building in particular, he wanted to check out. He grabbed his hat, gloves, and scarf, took one last look in the mirror (after all he wsa gonna see a bunch of people he hadn’t seen in 25+ years), and headed downstairs. Amie put her mediacal journal down and followed him down. As he got to the front door, he peeked through the side window to assess just how bad it was outside. It wasn’t snowing, but it was 3 degrees, with a wind chill of -7. So basically it was -7 fucking degrees outside.
“Are you sure you don’t wanna go?”, he said as he kissed her head.
“I wanna sit my southern ass in front of the fire, it’s like one outside.
“It’s 3. Wind chill of -7.”
“No fucking way. I’m cold just standing by the door.” She got up on her tiptoes and gave him a peck on the cheek.
He opened the door, causing Amie to immediately rub her arms frantically up and down.
“OK, I love you. Please be careful and call me or get an Uber home.”, she said shivering.
“Will do. Love you too.” He said with a smile and walked out into the frigid cold. Before Amie could close the door, he swung around, losing his footing a slight bit, “There’s a half a Royal sub in the fridge, 2 liter of Loganberry in the garage. Nice and cold.” She smiled and waved goodbye, shutting the door.
As he made the left onto Almont Ave., he was pleased to see Bryan outside waiting. He wasn’t the most punctual of people. Bryan made a snowball and chucked it at his car as it turned the driveway. The packing was always terrible when it was this cold.
“What’s up you doggone sum bitch?”, Bryan said with an over-the-top southern drawl.
He rolled his window down and uttered, “Fuck off man. You and your wife watch Nascar. I don’t watch cars go around in a circle. Listen to that God-awful country music.”, he retorted before bryan was even done speaking.
“Pipe down Rusty. I’m just fuckin with ya.”, Bryan said with a grin.
“Hurry up and get in, it’s fuckin freezing outside.”, he said, rolling up the window.
Bryan trotted around the front and got inside. “Nice ride, what year?”
“2018.” He backed out of the driveway and headed down Almont. “That Mighty Taco still there at French and Transit? I wanna hit one up before we get there Ive been home for like 50 hours and the only Buffalo food I’ve had is a half a Royal from John & Mary’s.”
“I figured we’d stop at The Nick, have Gino make us some wings.”
“He’s fuckin working?”, he said with slight annoyance in his voice.
“He tried and he couldn’t.”, Bryan replied matter-of-factly.
“Of all the people, he should fuckin be there tonight.”
“He tried. He couldn’t. You wanna go or not?”
“I wanna go now. Tell that motherfucker to grow up. He couldn’t get the night off my ass.”
“He tried. Believe me, he tried.”, Bryan replied in a calm voice. “You know, Gino wasn’t always the bad guy when it came to Jeremy.”, this time fighting back tears.
“I know man. Just pisses me off whenever I think about it.” He made a right onto Transit Rd. “He coulda been more of a friend, I know it was hard, but Jesus.”
As they pulled into the parking lot of The Nickelodeon Cafe, Bryan said in an obvious attempt to change the subject, “Did you see St. John’s is a fuckin Mosque?”
“Saw it on the way to your house. It’s evolution baby.”, he said with a smile.