Larry Fine squinted, revealing all his age lines, 427 to be exact, as he limped out of the car and up the front steps. Each step made pain shoot sharply through his 70 year old body. “Ow, ow, ow!” one of his many catchphrases echoed through his mind. He tugged at the bottom part of his pant leg, it was clinging to his socks, not only was it static, it was annoying as all hell. It was Christmas in L.A., 65 degrees and sunny, not that it mattered. Ask anyone and they will tell you that Larry Fine was soberly Jewish through and through. He had still retained his curly kinky hair, and in this light, it looked like two ragged tumbleweeds attached to the side of a perfectly decent bald head.
He walked up to the door and made judgments as he looked about. The wood was rotting. The metal was rusting. The flora was dying. He knocked quaintly. He waited a minute before pounding and kicking the door.
“Come on in, knucklehead. The door’s open!”
Larry opened the door slowly. He was overcome by the thick stench of a single old man, sweat and fresh feet, like a month-old bowl of corn chips and cumin. Moe was wearing boxers and a t-shirt (the kind that might make you contemplate abuse upon your wife), on the couch, huddled over, feet in a metal bucket of once hot water, holding a raw steak over his right eye. “Merry Christmas, Larry.” His voice was strained.
The two laughed uncomfortably to fill the silence about to come. Larry pushed aside a stack of newspapers and sat down beside Moe. His knees creaked as he painstakingly lowered himself, and when he turned to face Moe, his neck spasmed. All at once, he saw the frail man for the first time. The two of them were ultimately, not that different. The shared suffering and profound loneliness, and all those years on stage and studio sets, it had to mean something more than this.
Larry nervously rubbed the bruise on his forehead just above where his eyebrows met, and cleared his throat, “Where’s my fucking money, Moe?”
Moe removed the meat from his eye, revealing a shiner shaped like Ohio, and sobbed uncontrollably.