The Fears of Fear

The security cop Joe at the diamond exchange is on a liquid diet. A couple of Buds for Breakfast. A few for lunch and then another two for his afternoon break. JOe’s an ex-cop, so he knows his limits. His words get slurred, but he is always ever-vigilant against a theft.

Today a gypsy couple were seeking to buy a cheap ‘bluff’ stone.

“7 Carat.” The woman had been attractive ten years ago. Dark lights and nakedness would have reverse the flow of time, but like all gypsy women she was faithful to her man.

“Sorry, I don’t have anything like it and I don’t think anyone else on the street has an inexpensive stone.” I knew that because Billy the Gypo had been looking for one to replace the stone he hawked to support a gambling binge. His wife had him sleeping on the sofa. Not in the living room, but the porch and it was getting cold.

They tried a few distractions. Joe came over to the counter. Richie Boy, my boss, warned that they were looking to rob me.

“You really thinking to rip me off?” I had to ask them.

“Why you say that?”

“Because you’re gypsies, but you look like a nice couple.”

The woman loved that line and promised to come back with money to buy a 36-inch diamond necklace.

“I’ll hold my breath.” Richie Boy muttered after they left the exchange.

“I had you covered.” Joe said peering over his shoulder at the departing couple.

“I know you did.” He was a fellow Red Sox fan.

“You weren’t scared of them ripping you off.”

“Not as long as I count everything coming and going.” I never let them touch more than 3 items at a time. still I could be sure that they hadn’t hurt us and I doubled-checked the merchandise. Joe waited until I gave him the AOK sign. “Let me ask you a question. You said something about being scared.”


“You scared about the Iranians hitting us with a missile?”

“You mean you and me?’

“No, the USA.” The newspapers were filled with reports of Iranian missile tests.

“On a scale from 1 to 10, I’d have to say zero.” His courage had nothing to do with his beer consumption.

“What about their hitting Israel?”

“We don’t live there, do we?” Joe might be a Bud drinker and I never drink Bud, but we were of the same mind. “No, we don’t live there.”

“Then I’m not scared.”

“Me neither.”

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a 24 oz Modelo. somewhere in that can there was courage. And if not the second was guaranteed to stiffen my resolve. I fear nothing but the fear of fear. At least as long as my wives live on the other side of the world, for any man who think he can resist a gypsy woman is a man ready for a ride.

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