The Jinx: Sample Page 8

God, “1999-2000.” Even saying it to himself made his head swim. One of his earliest memories was his seventh birthday in 1960. He remembered his father bringing home a rubber stamp kit the Herald Times had tried to market the previous Christmas. The kit included a date stamp that went up to 1972. He recalled thinking at the time that 1972 seemed like forever. He ordered another Dewars.

Adams saddened as he thought about his father. It was almost two years since George Thompson had died.

A tall, well-built young man entering Sausolito’s caught his attention, interesting only in his remarkable resemblance to the Marlboro Man. He had a weather-beaten face and wore a suede jacket, cowboy hat and work boots. Adams observed him for a moment, then looked away as Marlboro sauntered towards the bar. Marlboro placed his hat on the counter, claimed the stool two down from Adams, and ordered a beer.

“Cold night, huh pops,” Marlboro said, looking in Adams’s direction.

“Hmmph. November in New York,” Adams said.

Marlboro looked up at the television. “You a Knicks fan?” he asked.

“Uh-huh,” Adams said.

“How they doin’?” Marlboro asked.

“Celtics are up by five,” Adams said, frowning. “It doesn’t look like they’re ‘The Team for the Next Millennium.’”

Marlboro chuckled. He slid over one stool, next to him, and extended his hand. “I’m Stone. Van Stone.”

Adams shook it. Firm grip. “Adams,” he said hesitantly, reluctant to identify himself to this outlandish stranger.

“Mighty pleased to meet you, Mr. Adams,” Marlboro said. “What brings you out alone tonight? You seem a little down, if you don’t mind my sayin’.”

Copyright © 2000, 2011 by Larry Kahn

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