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Synopsis

After an absence of almost fifty years, Larry looked for a cabaret that he had worked in as a waiter and found that it had been replaced by a parking lot. In his youth he was an innocent, aspiring writer, just out of college, looking for a place to work where hopefully he could obtain material for short stories.  He found Neil’s, the cabaret, and talked his way into a job as a waiter despite the dangers and his slight appearance.  Neil’s was a clip joint that was frequented mainly by servicemen and prostitutes.  Larry’s education removing him from naïveté began quickly.

Larry describes his first meeting of prostitutes, an alcoholic man whose intoxication increased without even drinking the rum he had ordered, and encounters with servicemen who were benign and threatening.  He also describes the musical entertainment provided by the cabaret that helped entice people to enter the place, women who came to Neil’s who may or may not have been prostitutes, army stories that some of the soldiers told him, a wedding in the cabaret, nights of fear, fights that he had to avoid, and a musician who had survived the second world war and dreamt some weird dreams.

Incidents about Larry’s non-cabaret life enter the narration, including his meeting the woman he married.  Flo, an artist, would have supported him in his effort to write, but other matters intervened, and Larry had to wait almost fifty years to resurrect his notes and write his tale.

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