The Idea Men
There’s a story in the underworld of the city goes something like this: Two guys. A fuckin’ Sox fan and some Limey prick. Real popular fellas. Good lookin’. Suave and charming and all that bullshit you hear about in movies. People thought the kid from Boston was a fag since he was real good in the kitchen. Could get real fancy with the knives and what have you. Turns out he was real fancy with the knives in the streets, too, so ain’t nobody I ever heard of called him a fag to his face. His partner, the English fella, was anything but a fag. Or maybe he was but he sure as shit covered it up real good. Booze was the Yank’s poison and broads were supposed to be the Brit’s. Now he was good with, oh whassit called? Them tiny guns. Derringers! Yeah he had two of ‘em, special made for him, hid ‘em up his sleeves. Sneaky fuckin’ Limey.
The story goes like this: Two man operation. Mr. Hart is the yutz with the knives and Mr. Link is the fancy fucker with the accent and guns. Real professionals. Quick clean jobs with no questions asked. You give a name and they did it. Hello, slice, pop. Bing, bang, boom, fuck you very much no name no more. They’d seen and done it all. Even kids. Well, not KIDS kids, but 18 years don’t make an adult, you ask me. Rumor is Link even did his whole family before jumpin’ the puddle over here state-side. Who knows.
So everything’s goin’ smooth and they got a name for ‘emselves after takin’ out a mob boss and his family down in Philly. Back then the families was tryin’ to contract these guys, but Link and Hart weren’t havin’ it. Said neutrality is better for business. Said permanent connections create too much baggage. But Hart makes a mistake. Falls in love with the wife of one of the poor schmucks he an’ Link did in. ‘Course, she don’t know Hart had a hand in it. But the guy who hired the two didn’t want loose ends. He finds out she’s alive and tells Mr. Link that if they don’t do her in, he’s givin’ him Hart’s cut to kill the broad AND his partner. So Link tells Hart straight up and they cut her out of the picture. Hart knew he had to do it. Didn’t want to, see, but business is business to a fella like that.
A few weeks go by and business stops being business for Mr. Hart and starts becoming a problem instead. He ain’t eating. He ain’t sleeping. He’s sitting on the docks all night just drinking and waiting for the sun to rise. Well, Mr. Link don’t like that. He says in that uppity accent of his “Get your shit together, Hart.”
Hart says “I don’t know how. She’s gone and it’s my fault.”
Link looks at him cross-ways and says “She wasn’t the first and she won’t be the last. This anxiety nonsense and sadness needs to stop. It’s all in your head. You know that, you silly little shit.”
Well, Hart knows the first bit is true but isn’t so sure about her not being the last. He thinks maybe he wanted her to be the last. Mr. Link sees his partner ain’t snappin’ out of it so he pulls one of them sneaky fuckin’ guns and shoots Hart in the ear, says “If you won’t listen to me, you sullen bastard, maybe you’ll hear that,” and then he puts a real classy vest on and goes on tyin’ his Italian black leather shoes. Doesn’t even look back at Hart when he says “Sharpen your knives and put on your best tie. We’ve got a new job.”
Mr. Hart is holdin’ on to the new hole in his ear and looks at his partner when he says “Why?”
Mr. Link’s reloading them derringers of his and says “Because that’s what you do when somebody puts a hole in you, Hart. You put on a fucking tie and go to your job.”