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In Charlie Carillo's funny, insightful novel, a divorced man gets to know his seventeen-year-old son in a tale that rewrites the book on quality time together...Sammy Sullivan is working his way down the ladder of success. Divorced and pushing fifty, his relationships have the longevity of a fruit fly. But how many men can get themselves fired and have their only son expelled from prep school all in one day? Now, after almost eighteen years, he and Jake may finally get to know each other. (That's if his ex-wife - the super-achiever Sammy can only dream of being - doesn't find out.) Jake knows virtually nothing about his roots. So, Sammy shows him the old neighborhood in the far reaches of Queens. But it's been thirty years. The older woman Sammy lost his virginity to now uses a walker to get around. Most of his hangouts are long gone. It's dreary, born-to-lose stuff. But Jake is on a mission. Wise beyond his (and his dad's) years, he doesn't want his father to miss out the second time around on the good things he blew the first time. And they've got a whole weekend together - a journey where Sammy will confront his, dysfunctional childhood and Jake will face a past he never knew he had.
like to have the ashes?” Here we go, I said to myself. There’s always a fucking angle. “How much?” “A hundred dollars.” I was no longer a New York Star reporter, but this was the kind of thing that made me want to reach for my notebook and go to town. “What do I get for my C-note?” The vet seemed offended by my slang. “Well, you get Jasper’s remains in a small urn, plus a certificate saying these are his remains.” “I see. That way, we know it’s authentic.” The vet stares at me before
dash. Derek notices. “Are you all right, there, mate?” I force myself to calm down, wondering where the tumor that’s sure to be triggered by all this pent-up anxiety will strike me—lungs? Liver? Kidneys? Ten years from now, I’m going to die of cancer of the something-or-other because of my reluctance to ask for a few hours off in the middle of a workday. This is insane. I’ve just got to go ahead and do it. “Thing of it is,” I begin, fighting unsuccessfully to quell the quaking in my voice,
with me.” “Oh my God, don’t tell me I’m actually going to meet him!” “Can we get that drink?” “Come on over!” Margie says. “You know where I am!” She hangs up without saying good-bye. I turn to Jake. “Do you mind doing this, kid? It won’t take long.” “Ooh. That doesn’t sound good, Dad.” “It won’t be good, but it’ll be brief. I’ve got to clear the deck, just like you did.” It takes us less than ten minutes to walk there. It’s an old-fashioned joint, dark and high-ceilinged. We walk in
for?” “What are you getting so upset about?” “This doesn’t happen to be one of my happiest memories.” “Whoa, whoa, Dad. We’re supposed to be able to ask each other stuff, aren’t we? Wasn’t that the deal?” “Yeah, that was the deal. So let me ask you something. Why did you stop playing the cello?” It’s as if I’ve just soaked him with a pail of ice water. Jake’s shoulders harden, and his eyes narrow. “We weren’t discussing the cello.” “We weren’t discussing my mother, either.” “I’ll tell you
the eighth-grade English medal, which your father won,” my father replies matter-of-factly. He puts his hand on my shoulder and gives it a squeeze. My soul is tingling. I cannot believe he has done this. “He’s always been good with words, your old man, as I came to know by his gift for back talk. Come on, then, let me call Napoli’s and order a coupla pies.” I’m stunned. “Old man Napoli is still in business?” “Nah, he died a long time ago. The family sold out to some greaseball from the other