Flies Flying | By: Jerry Vilhotti | | Category: Short Story - Comic Bookmark and Share

Flies Flying

My motherís brother, Deo, was a sort of libertarian. He wanted less government and he wanted to pay less or no taxes. He did, however, want government subsidized housing, welfare, free healthcare, and other cost-assisted living sponsored by Social Security. Deo suspected that Social Security was some kind of socialistic idea created to undermine the capitalist system. This raw capitalist - what's in for me - system served him well while he piled up the bucks making delicious red meat gravies for pasta and a sauce, without meats, for pizza. Deoís gravies were known all over the city from Myrtle to Arthur Avenues.

It was decided by our mother to take Deo, who was named after the great Mozart, on this - our fifth visit to see Leny ďOne NĒ and his cell mate and partner in all things The East Bronx kid, Talfie, in the penitentiary near Amish country. Leny was a mainly unsuccessful thief who blamed societyís constraints for all of his failures. He like his uncle called them regulations. One of his inmates a guy called "Mad Off" had bilked billions when a close friend of his when a senator took off regulations so making the market go into a frenzy before it collapsed as it did during the Great† Depression becoming the godfather of the Greater One.† He became the economic advisor to a Hoover-like candidate who said the economy was strong as it was going over cliff in Arizona.††††

Leny deliberately took his time getting to the visiting room as a punishment to us for not coming on a monthly basis - even though he knew it was a full three hundred mile trip from where we began to where he was residing at the Lewisburg Federal Penitentiary - getting free room and board. While we waited, Deo spouted off about one thing or another - like saying this prison system was copying the uniform he had to wear when he was serving time as a twenty year old in the old country. All the while, as he spoke, he kept looking at my fatherís zipper. Behind his back he called our father "a poor man's Valentino". He recalled, in a small compartment of his brain, the advice he had given to our mother many years before ... "I tell you he's cheating on you! He's got all the whores around Third Avenue chasing after him! Throw the bum out!" That very night a very pretty woman with a beautiful smile had come to their apartment asking our mother if she could allow her husband to go out for just a teensy bitsy little while ....

Reading his mind, our father said, "You know, you were lucky that the Federal Bureau of Incompetency couldn't or wouldn't take the time to figure out your Pel Ob meant Pearl Harbor and how happy you were that the Japanese imperialists had slammed the big guy in the mouth. They would have arrested you for treason and put you, away, in some red state concentration camp with other New York fascists, leaving many innocent Japanese-American people alone!" Our father then punched himself in the head with a closed fist recalling how he had changed Uncle Deo's face when they were teenagers. Uncle Deo had told him to stay away from his sister; much in the same way a bother-cousin of ours named Carrado had told Jake the raging bull to stay away from our sister, Tina. Tina of the Troy was thought by many to be the knockout of all knockouts in The Bronx. Carrado had his face changed that night, too, in the lavatory of a Fordham Road nightclub by the young kid who hadnít turned pro yet.

Needless to say Talfie didn't much like Uncle Deo. All during our uncle's pontificating, Talfie made Mussolini types of faces: mocking, contempt, cocky, condescending and various degrees of shock.

"At least El Duce was man enough to stand up to Hitler and back his armies down at the Austrian border while the Divided States of America for the most part were being cowards!" Uncle Deo thought FDR started the Second World War, the Great Depression and socialism.

"But Uncle Deo do you remember when some fascist guys were shot coming down the Mount Carmel church stairs, full of God and feeling that their Pope was siding with a dictator?" Talfie said; using a Mussolini smirk to emphases his point.

"This country was founded by monarchists and fornicating Founding Fathers and is still ruled by the beasts who steal our hard earned money," Uncle Deo retaliated.

Although Uncle Deo was one roaring pain in the ass and almost everyone disliked his opinionated way - no one had ever squealed on him for the reward granted to anyone who turned in a tax dodger. Only the very wealthy, who lived on islands off the coast did not have to pay anything to a place that allowed them to make billions of dollars on the backs of others, were immune too.

Leny, Tommy Tom Tom, my other older brother, went to the soda machine to talk with Jimmy Hoffa who was loading it with bottles of cola. I almost thought they were going to tell Jimmy, about Uncle Deo†

Our father held his tongue as Uncle Deo continued to snare flies out of the air while expressing all his ideas.

Talfie said: "That buffoon of yours was just a tin horn trying to bring back the glory days of Rome and didn't care a piss about his people!"

"What's the dance now about?" Leny said as he joined us. Uncle Deo always gave Leny money when he was short and had a great need to feed the horses at Yonkers Raceway. Leny always paid him back; unlike our parents. Our father often said Leny was even obligated to the rocks he walked upon; liking two kinds of people: those who did him favors and those who asked him for none.†

Red in the face, Uncle Deo shouted that Talfie was nothing but a petty thief and for all anybody knew - was Leny's girlfriend!

This did get a long blanket of silence to emerge. Then, among a flurry of tic-full movements of hugs and half-missed kisses - a departure was undertaken.

It was a long silent ride back home as Uncle Deo swatted imaginary flies trying to attack his mouth

END†† 3-31-09

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