O’Sullivan’s Tavern

There was nobody home but himself. He hurried to secure his bank, sweep the wooden floor and wipe down the mahogany bar. Despite some of his sloppy customers the place was spanking clean. Soon the first wave would appear at the door. They’d knock if the door was still closed at eleven. Tom opened the shades and unlocked the door. 

“That’s early enough for a little nip,” said Mrs. O’Harahan, whose now deceased husband had been a regular fixture. He enjoyed his Guinness everyday at three. He lived 96 years in perfect health until one afternoon he didn’t show up for his wet shift and we heard he had passed quietly during the night.

Now the lady passes by each day as if looking for him at the bar. Her short Guinness is on the house.

Yet another wake, surely to be held here at O’Sullivan’s. It’s good for business and gives me a chance to practice my patience. My plan is to stand them all for a drink across the street at Mike Malone’s sometime around ten then lock up and go home. Malone often did the same with me. We had an understanding.

“Friday night is your night for those who have had a wee little too much to drink,” said Malone.

“And on Saturday it’s your turn “to watch the children”, as we called it. “And don’t fret. My son Sean is home from the army and he is a very skilled  at negotiating with the slightly inebriated.”

 Besides, my regulars won’t put up with any monkey business. Christ, they all have their regular seats and are quite jealous of intrusions. They think they own the place.” said O’Sullivan, shaking his head.

“Oh, my boy Daniel will be happy to hear it. He’s on the night shift and the two of them can handle any drama that might rear it’s head amid the jars and suds.”

That bastard Reynolds would be there hanging at the bar by five, waiting for someone to buy him a porter. And if that’s not bad enough he starts to chatting politics, a subject on which he is not schooled. Maybe it’s easier to put up with him than cause a scene. Most of the patrons are the best kind but they all have their opinions on everything.

There’s even old Patsy Mulholland. She always claims I haven’t washed her glass. Looney as the birds but a nice woman.

Tom O’Sullivan finished his cup of coffee and walked out front into the sunlight to observe the comings and goings of Bay Ridge. He was not a young man anymore but if he stopped working it would kill him. He’s have to stay home all day and listen to his wife go on about the weather and the neighbors.

It’s almost opening time. He takes out the sacred flag of Republicanism—the plow and the star from Skibbereen and displays it proudly on the porch. There would be a rugby match on the radio in the afternoon and he could expect the local hurling team after a match with those arrogant bastards from Hell’s Kitchen across the East River.

Another day in Brooklyn, the finest town in America. 

-Melvin Bedwetter O’Toole

Filed Under: Lifestyles at Risk


RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.