The Jinx: Sample Page 9

He hesitated, again weighing the risk of revealing much of himself against the horror of dwelling on his own nightmarish thoughts. “I was thinking about my father,” Adams said. “He passed away almost two years ago.”

“I’m sorry. Were you close?”

“Hmmph. Not really,” he said. “Not until he got sick. Prostate cancer.”

“Nasty stuff,” Marlboro said. “My dad died recently, too.”

“My condolences,” Adams said. “I hope you had a better relationship with yours.”

“He wasn’t around much. I spent some quality time with him before he died, though,” Marlboro said. He sipped his beer. “Tell me about your dad. What kept you apart?”

“To tell you the truth, I don’t know,” Adams said. “My mother was killed in an accident when I was three. He sort of withdrew after that. Put all his energy into his work.”

“What did he do?”

Adams sipped his drink. It had been a long time since he had trusted anyone. But he was enjoying the attention from this attractive young man. “Same thing as me. He was the publisher of the Herald Times.

Marlboro slapped the counter. “You’re Adams Thompson?” he said. “Man, you are one unpopular son of a bitch tonight! No wonder you’re drinkin’ alone.”

Adams lifted his glass in a mock toast. “Thank you for reminding me, young man.”

“Aw, hell, I don’t care about any of that shit,” Marlboro said. “I leave politics to the politicians. So, things between you and your old man couldn’t have been too hostile if you followed in his footsteps.”

“I think I took up journalism to impress him,” he said. “I finished at the top of my class at the Columbia School of Journalism—the goddam Columbia School of Journalism—but that bastard wanted to hire me as a copy boy, the same way he started out.”

“Did you do it?”

“My pride got the better of me,” Adams said. “I took a job as a beat reporter at the Daily News. He hired me a couple of years later after I made a name for myself.”

Copyright © 2000, 2011 by Larry Kahn

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