22 December 2010

Poisoned Ivy (Benjamin Hart)

"This is Michael Jones," said Anthony. "Some know him as Keeney Jones, or M.K. Jones, or M. Keenan Jones."

"What name are you going by this evening?" Greg asked.

"Keeney is fine, or just Mr. Jones. Whichever makes you more uncomfortable."

Jones was wearing a blue-and-white-striped seersucker jacket, white flannel trousers rolled up at the cuffs, loafers and white socks, a necktie with a picture of Uncle Sam saying "We Want You," and two buttons on his lapel, one of which read "Nixon in 1980," and the other with a picture of a B-52 bomber, under which was written "DROP IT." His cheeks were red, and he had an impish grin, as if he had just done something completely irresponsible. He was pulling behind him, on a leash, a baby blue foam-rubber shark. The shark's name, I learned, was Chesterton. Jones ordered a strawberry daiquiri, threw his Sherlock Holmes hat on a rack, exposing his blond curls, and sat down between Anthony and Greg.

"Hello, Ben," said Keeney. "I believe I saw you at Aquinas House the other day, watching TV, or was it the liberation theology Mass, with the electric guitars and the sermons against American support of the Shah?"

I knew immediately that he was talking about Father Joe, a trendy Jesuit who had recently come to Dartmouth from Boston, allegedly because he was attuned to our generation.

"It couldn't have been at that Mass," I said. "I prefer Monsignor Nolan. He still talks about God and the sacraments. Strange thing, though, his Masses are packed anyway."

Poisoned Ivy, Benjamin Hart (1984)

No comments: