Lothario Japan bought an orphanage.
St. Anthony's on 52nd, you know the one I'm talking about. Big old gargoyles and wrought-iron bars. Wire-thin kids milling around in the back lot staring wistfully through holes in the fence. Yea, that one. Lothario Japan bought it. Then he adopted all the kids.
I once saw him take home a girl from Club Lamar, this girl weighed 320 lbs if she was an ounce. Her name was Gwen, but we all called her Shamu's Mother, because we are heartless bastards. Anyway, he did what you do with girls you take home from Club Lamar, only he did it faster and dropped her off on a corner with cab fare and called it a night.
Word got back to Sylvia. Word always gets back to Sylvia. If you have a word you don't want to get back to Sylvia, forget it. She find out everything, and she found this out. We were all expecting thrown objects and punched walls and murder-suicides, knowing Sylvia. But the thing we got, none of us expected: bumpkis. Nothing.
He explained it later, this relationship magic we'd all remember for the rest of our lives: "Among the cardinal rules you must remember, gentlemen," he said, "is that it's not cheating if she's fat."
Apparently it's true, because three weeks later Lothario Japan and Sylvia were married in Vegas. Sylvia must be following the rules too, because suddenly she's all about sumo wrestlers.
Anyway, he can't decides if he wants to turn the orphanage into a club or a safehouse or what, someone suggested an authentic Chinese tea-house, and Lothario Japan didn't bother to note that teahouses are Japanese because he's never been there, Japan, that is. So it just sort of sits empty. He has the orphans out working the streets, hobbling in front of speeding cars and shaking the drivers down for insurance money, having coughing fits in front of gullible old people, picking pockets, snatching purses, capturing pigeons for Lothario Japan's personal collection.
And the two love-birds loaf around the top floor, where the infirmary used to be, making frequent use of the shitty old sickbeds. Plaster chips fall from the ceiling; we try to play bridge and ignore it.
Sylvia comes down later in a bathrobe and asks me if Yoshiro's called yet.
I ask her if she should really be playing the field now that she's married.
She says there's no field in sumo, it's really more of a ring.