Room To Let

Image Source: Vivian Maier

I guess it ain’t too nice to say, but there’s already talk goin’ round Mulroney’s about how long The Grunt gonna be able to keep this one. Like say the last time I mentioned him, he ain’t exactly the most respectable or reliable type. But I’m holdin’ out hope.

I heard about this room to let ‘round the bar. Sven The Scrub – we call him that because he’s just over from Oslo an’ he’s scrubbin’ the floors of Mulroney’s – was gonna take it, but I talked him into lettin’ The Grunt have it, out of seniority and all like that. It was perfect for the old guy: a basement level job, meanin’ he only had to worry ‘bout climbin’ down three steps, not up five flights of steps. An’ the rent was enough that even The Grunt, who does nuthin’ but grunt work around a bar for drink money, could make it. Maybe with a little help, but he could make it.

An’ I – an’ I think I speak for everyone that ever sat ‘round that bar – was willin’ to help. A presence at the bar like The Grunt, you take care of him. Sure, he come back from the Great War all shell-shocked, an’ he aint’ been the same since. But we all know him, an’ we know he’s got a heart of gold.

In fact, because of all the talk – an’ The Grunt he don’t know this, so don’t go sayin’ nothin’ – we got a collection goin’ round for a few months rent. So maybe nuthin’ happens but The Grunt come into Mulroney’s an’ does odd jobs an’ sings for his supper. An’ maybe he blows a race or two at Saratoga. Well, if that’s all that happens, he’s got it nice in his new apartment for a while, an’ we got stories for the whole time, so it’s worth it to us, see? A guy like The Grunt, you wanna keep him ‘round, an’ you wanna take care of him much as you can.



  1. Good one!
    Known an awful lot of guys in an awful lot of bars like The Grunt.

    • Do you go to a lot of different bars so you can see which one is the best for naked dancing?

      • You don’t want to see me dance.

      • You and Guap could give us all a show.

  2. Taking care of our own, in the community sense, is a noble path. You remind me of that in this story, which I love, like I love all your stories.

  3. AgrippingLife said:

    You’re so good with voices and dialogue… Ever considered writing a screen play? I think you should.

  4. Kindness, no judgements, just one person looking out for the next. Love it and the photo as always is amazing.

  5. Brilliant! You could turn this into a book easily! Especially with such a wonderful message of community.

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