The Whack Job - An Eamonn Shute Short Story(2)
Author:Tony McFadden

    Eamonn pulled the shoulders of his cotton shirtaway from his skin. “Dammit, I’m sticky.” He grabbed Steve bythe upper arm. “Let’s us skip this bit the next time, Steve. Dinner was fine. But this,” he hitched a thumb over his shoulder,“has taken it from me.”

    Steve Sheppard laughed. “This is my life,pal.” He ran his fingers through his hair, streaked blond by hisregular hairdresser on Flagler, (although he told people it was theconstant exposure to the sun and sea that did it). He wiped thesweat from his brow with the sleeve of his silk shirt. “But Iagree. I could do without seeing you dance again.”

    Steve was decked out for a single’s Saturdaynight; light cream dress slacks, white silk shirt, jade signet pinkiering, a couple of gold chains, Rolex watch and Blues Brothers styleRay Bans perched in that tinted hair. He fit right in.

    “It’s a little early for me though, Eamonn.”

    “Mate, you told me that you wanted to leave at11. It’s a wee bit after 11:30.” Eamonn shook his head. “Andyou were really hammering them back tonight. As an Irishman, I’mimpressed, but you’re a small man. Unless you have anextraordinarily large liver, you’re putting yourself in gravedanger.”

    “No, no. Not tonight buddy. Soda water andlime all night.” He smiled and tapped his temple. “Gotta keepthe pumpkin clear tonight.” He noted the skeptical look on Eamonn’sface. “On my mother, I haven’t had a drop all night.”

    “Miracles never cease to amaze.” The warmMiami night air was still a wonder for Eamonn, even after 18 monthsaway from Ireland. He unbuttoned the next button on his shirt andpulled the tails from his trousers, trying to cool off. “Listenold pal, it was good to catch up again, although next time it’sjust dinner and no dance halls, if it’s not too much trouble. CanI give you a lift home?”

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