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Stories from the Verse
Re Verse All
Chapter 35: Takano 24
Table of Contents
Previous chapter: Hastings 197
The week again went smoothly. They went to the park twice, had soup one day and grilled cheese another, and explored the cabinet full of toys and games, playing Chutes and Ladders and Candyland one afternoon.
On Saturday she walked down to the shopping center with her pay, and started with the toiletries--a new hairbrush, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, and soap. She was surprised that she only recognized two brands of soap, two of toothpaste, and one of shampoo, unless you counted the baby shampoo. The selection of hairbrushes was also rather limited, and choosing a toothbrush was simple, as there were no fancy ones. Once she had these she found Dot in the clothing section and got some flannel pajamas, a warm robe Dot called a housecoat, a pair of moccasins for slippers, and a fall jacket which had just been put on the racks. Still having a fair amount of money, she offered to take Dot to the hamburger place and waited maybe half an hour for her to get off work.
They were again met by Peg, and Tommy bought her lunch, too. Peg objected that she hadn’t bought anything for Tommy, but Tommy just said that wasn’t the point.
“So,” Peg said after they had settled with their meals, “are we still on for Friday?”
“Oh!” Dot said, as if surprised at the reminder. “Yes, I’m good. Hey, you want to join us?” This she addressed to Tommy, who laughed.
“What am I agreeing to join?” she said.
“We didn’t mention it?” Dot composed herself as if preparing an explanation. “It’s the end of summer, and Peg and I and a couple of the guys are going into the city to a club. We’re mostly going to hear the band--they’re a local band, but people say their drummer is one of the best in the world. Maybe you’ve heard of him? Johnny Angel?”
Tommy shook her head; the name was not familiar.
“Anyway, we’re going, and we’d be glad to take you.”
Tommy nodded, but said, “I’m only sixteen, and I don’t really have ID. Are they going to let me in?”
“Oh, sure. You just can’t buy alcohol, and since it’s Philadelphia the drinking age is 21 and we can’t buy it either. The price of soda will be ridiculous, probably like fifty cents a glass, but the music will be worth it.”
Tommy shrugged. “Sure, count me in. I have to wait for Missus Billings to get home before I can leave, but I can probably be dressed and ready when she gets there. She’s usually home before five-thirty.”
“That works,” Peg said. “I’ll pick you up on my way to get Dot, and we’ll go from there. We’ll park at the rail station in Camden and catch a late commuter train into Philly, and walk from there--it’s probably less than ten blocks, but wear walking shoes and pack dress shoes. We’ll have to leave before eleven, because later than that it will be a long wait for another train, but the show should end before then.”
“Do I need to bring anything else?” Tommy asked.
“Cash,” Peg said. “Twenty dollars will probably cover everything, but you might want a little extra just in case.”
“Yeah, I probably won’t have been paid yet--I get paid Friday evening after Mister Billings gets home, and that’s not until maybe seven--but I’ve still got money from this week, so I’m probably all right.”
“Good. See you then. Can I give you a lift?”
Tommy wasn’t sure whether this was addressed to her until after Dot said yes and Peg looked at her.
“Sure, thanks. It’s not a long walk, but a ride is always easier.”
Finishing their meals, they hopped in Peg’s car and Tommy was soon home.
There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with five other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #364: Characters Learn. Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter. It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.
As to the old stories that have long been here: