Mark Johnson
4 min readMay 10, 2023


Three men laughing.

Jimmy and his boys entered the bar in a festive mood laughing and cracking jokes with each other. Jimmy had just left his girl’s house with a kiss and put a black leather jacket on his back to join the guys feeling the need for some solid gentlemanly company.

As the group entered the bar like a racket, they moved up directly to the bar, still cracking wise on each other. Harry Newman and two of his gents were at the end of the bar. Harry Newman had been upstate making a ten-year bid and was now back on the streets having a quiet drink with those closest to him.

The thing here was Harry Newman, a made man with some juice. When he saw Jimmy, a knucklehead still wet behind his ears when he was sent away to see him all grown up, it sparked something in Harry. Harry watched momentarily, not wanting to draw too much attention to himself, before calling out to Jimmy from across the bar.

When Jimmy turned to see whom it was calling out his name, he knew he’d be in for a ball-breaking moment, thinking back to all the shit Harry would run his way as a kid. So he ordered some beers for his boys and then went over to where Harry and his gents were seated at the end of the bar. Enshrouded in shadows, Harry and his gents watched Jimmy walking up slowly. Then like old times, Harry began to go on about how he knew this kid Jimmy since he was still messing up his diapers and how he would give his mother the high hard one so she could pay the rent while his deadbeat dad was locked up.

Jimmy took offense to how Harry was going about things in the past, mainly how he spoke about his mother. In his mind reflecting on the times, he remembered Harry coming over and disappearing into his mother’s bedroom. As for the words about his father, Jimmy had come to an understanding that realizing being a real man in this world isn’t as easy as it may seem.

Yet as Harry continued to tastelessly verbalize the acts he would perform on his mom for what for him was pocket change and seeing these two other guys laughing and yucking it up, Jimmy’s blood began to boil. So respectfully, Jimmy asked Harry if he could refrain from speaking about his mother like that, explaining the past was the past and that his mother is taken care of now and for the near future due to him.

The laughter died down as Jimmy said that, and Harry was quiet, just staring at Jimmy. Harry then agreed the past was the past, and he commended Jimmy for growing up and becoming a man. Jimmy looked Harry in the eye, thanked him, and ordered a round of drinks for Harry and his gents before wishing the group a good night and walking away.

No sooner did Jimmy turn to walk away and the round of drinks being poured did Harry chime in again in a voice Jimmy could hear about how Jimmy’s Mom had the perfect tits you could fuck, slapping the bar top repeatedly as if he was fucking.

Jimmy was set off but keeping his cool as he walked back to his boys, who could tell he was triggered. They tried to set him straight. Jimmy, for the moment, sat with his back to Harry and his gents as he could still hear the raspy voice of Harry, due to years of smoking, going on about the old days and how kids these days have no respect.

What Jimmy remembered about the old days was much different than what Harry did, but who the fuck was Harry without his made-man status? He was a nobody who preyed on women, women like his mom. Jimmy even remembered growing up when he walked in on his mom while she was entertaining Harry. Not fully understanding what was happening, Jimmy watched through a gap in the open bedroom door to watch Harry ramming into his mother, who put on a stern face as if she was being maltreated by such slime to make life better for him.

Jimmy saw the tears fall down her face when it was all over, and Harry handed her money, a smug look on his face as if he had just frequented a local whore. At that moment, Jimmy changed from a teenage boy to a man who recognizes what real men do and don’t. Trying to continue their night, Jimmy and his boys ordered up another round.

Yet Jimmy’s mind was somewhere else. His evening of the gentlemanly company had changed as now Jimmy could only think of how he was going to repay Harry Newman. His mind tight as a vice knew it would be stepping on the code; being Harry was a made man, you can’t whack out a made man without some backing higher up, but that was where Jimmy’s mind was at sip after sip of the finely aged whiskey.

Jimmy’s boys suggested they leave at a certain point, feeling the spot was already dead when they got there, and hanging around could mean more escalation of a dire situation. Jimmy agreed, and with that, they covered their tab and headed for the door. On the outside of the bar breathing fresh air of the night, Jimmy’s mind cleared. His demeanor changed, and he seemed more relaxed, but little did his boys know Jimmy’s mind was still plotting something, like a dog with a bone they won’t let go of. Jimmy wanted his revenge on Harry.



Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson is a University of Chico graduate, a lover of the creative arts, avid photographer, with an undying entrepreneurial spirit.