Wednesday, April 15, 2015

FRIED CLAMS ON THE F TRAIN by Peter Nolan Smith

Yesterday I was on the subway home to Fort Greene. I edited a long short story about a softball game with pen. The 30ish woman seated next to me was slurping a big container of Dunkin' Donuts slop. The brunette fell asleep and the cup dropped from her hand. Thankfully the lid held firm and she apologized for the disturbance.

"Nice snooze."

"The lid on on."

"No, I was talking about your sleep."

"What are you doing? Are you editing a story?"

I explained about our nightclub playing a not-so friendly game against the best straight bar in the Village.

"In 1986."

"I was two."

"I was 34." I wondered how I got that old or even this old.

"Where are you come?"

Her accent mirrored mine.

"The South Shore."

"Quincy." She added that she had attended Milton Academy. She didn't know my nephew, but she was a good ten years older than FAS IV.

We laughed with familiarity about Wollaston Beach and fried clams.

"Last week I went to Tony's with my father and he had the fire clams."

"And you?"

"Fried catfish."

I didn't say anything about her choice, but said, "My father could eat fried clams and chased them down with a chocolate shake. He had a strong stomach. How was Tony's."

"They've gotten a little fancy."

"That's why I like Tony's better." My younger sister felt the same way. She and I always ate their in season.

We talked about the South Shore, Nantasket, and the Squantum Spit till my stop at Jay Street in Brooklyn.

"I'd like to read your stories."

We exchanged names and she wrote down her email address.

"I'll send you a story about the Quincy Quarries. THE HOLE OF HEAVEN."

"Please do."

I got off the train happy to have heard words of home in a city not so far from the South Shore.

By the way the fried clams at Tony's are much better than those at the Clam Box.

Not an opinion.

The truth.

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