Big Sugar

Thomas Wang spied a telephone and made a decision that he could hold his water long enough to call his wife and let her know what his situation was. Just as he took the telephone off the receiver, a man wearing an orange wool-knit cap that was pulled down over his forehead eyed him warily then nudged his arm. “Hey-yah got a numbah for youse mane.”

“Excuse me,” Wang said slipping his left palm over the receiver.

“Mane, I got a card numbah for youse mane. Youse can call anywhere in ah world for free mane, gimme a nickel for it mane—c’mon youse can call China all night mane—it’s good.”

“Excuse me but I have my own credit cards if I need to call anyone.” Wang, inside a bus terminal for the first time in his life, couldn’t fathom the man’s aggressive behavior or his inability to deal with him, men usually quavered or jumped whenever Thomas Wang spoke to them.

“Hey, c’mon gimme a fin for it mane; I gots a round ah bread waitin’ on me, gimme a nickel mane, I needs dat vial bad mane, c’mon now!”

Thomas Wang shrank back when the man reached over and grabbed his shirt and they began scuffling, until the drug-addicted thug was picked up bodily and thrown to the floor. He jumped up and turned to face Big Sugar, who had grabbed him from behind and deposited him on the floor, where, staring up at Big Sugar’s looming presence, his face turned crimson. “Ah-nah, I wuz jus’ ask-in’ diz mane here for some money is all Big Mane, youse know?”

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