Big Jim pulls himself up for the march to the lounge. This was not his march of the past to the lounge with the full bar and Friday night check cashing crowd. Now Jim skates in soft-soled slippers, takes my arm when the linoleum snakes come close.
"Markie, you made it. You're 6 feet tall now."
We slide around a piss bomb puddle from a lobbed milk carton filled with urine, enter the lounge, and light up with the old mob hacking, spitting, and converging on me like I'm Sir Walter Raleigh with plenty of smoke from a new world