Chap. III – The evil that men do
“This is Vinny – Vincent Wilkins; who’s going to take care of the music.” Opposite to Joe sat a fine young man in his early thirties, visibly rich and perhaps a music connoisseur (his key ring was an embossed face of Django Reinhardt). “Vinnie, meet Fred…” – “Astaire or Mercury?” – was my dry reply; the little consideration was because he carried Django around. “-Denov, but call me Freddie. Pleased to meet you, Vinnie.” He’s good in handling situations. “I apologize for putting you into this untimely hassle, but offending you is less lethal than outraging my soon-to-be-wife.” He lit a smoke; laughed and continued – “No, it’s actually an worse situation, my workplace is pretty tight-fisted on granting leaves; therefore, I must make the best of what I can get. I hope I shall get your entire support towards starting a new life.” Sure, dude; I sighed; one man’s meat has – since time immemorial – been another’s poison. Or, nothing that’s good occurs in this world without a bit of evil sprinkled into it.
Chap. IV – Facts come first
So the ground disappeared quickly beneath the clouds. Devon – who turned out to be an interesting person later – insisted that Will Harris (an elfin co-DJ) and I join them; it would have been good unless the flu got the better part of me. I have played in and around California and a bit of the West Coast and a couple of times in Los Angeles itself, but not even in my wildest dreams I thought about lifting faders at the casino capital. “It is the marriage capital of the world now, Vinnie” – said Devon, poking my ribs – “pity that you never thought of playing in any of the hundred thousand weddings that took place so far here in Las Vegas.” Surely, now I regret; I should have been born in Nevada like Denov did.
It was a majestic arrangement and I gnawed on my own fingers thinking about the fortune Joe could have made for himself (and for me as well); it made me wonder if Freddie Denov has a lineage that comes from one of the European Royal Families. It was much later that I came to know the other part of the story.
Freddie’s a nice guy. He wanted to spend the day before the wedding with Will and I discussing the music; the other stuff, he said, rests on the shoulder of the bride and her friends and of course, on his parents and the relatives. “That’s because we are holding a token reception here, the real deal shall take place in Sunnyvale ten days from now. I like being fair with everyone; this way, I shall be in no hurry to finish things off and run for the honeymoon. We are going to have it here itself.”
So that’s calculative gambling, huh? I wondered while the pina colada made its way to the brain. Only the sea was missing; but the waves were good enough.