Donnie started after Sam, but then he stopped. Sam was an even tempered fellow for the most part; moody sometimes, though, and that made him seem unpredictable and maybe even a little dangerous at times. Donnie re-racked the balls and began practicing shots.
Sam returned to his paper. Minutes passed in thick, Sunday silence. Finally, he tossed the paper in wild array to the bar and reached for the TV remote. Nothing on the broadcast channels but the usual early morning political talk shows. He flicked to ESPN. Nothing there but rehashes of the previous week’s football games and a talk show emceed by two men who seemed bent on outshouting one another.
Donnie cackled. “I s’pose we could wash up and go to meeting.” Meaning church.
“In a pig’s eye,” Sam growled. Donnie quietly cleared his throat. Sometimes he felt that way, too. But on other occasions, when he felt himself sinking into moral quicksand, he’d sense the flames of Hell licking at him, and for a month or so, he’d show up at the United Methodist, singing the hymns as if his heart would burst and amen-ing every other of the preacher’s utterances.
“No?” he asked, altogether too timidly.
“If you had to deal with that bunch the way I have,” Sam growled, “you’d think fire and brimstone was the better way to go.”
“Okay,” Donnie ventured, “if you say so.”
“Go on,” said Sam. “Go on if you got a mind to. I’m staying right here in front of this fire.”