By Krista Halverson
Aunt Coy says if she got the job there'd have been four to six minutes between the tour bus and the back-stage door. She timed it, judging his stride as just wider than hers, which was the way she figured it. Niel Diamond, she says. Just his name, then a sigh because I still don't understand the rules or Pinochle. She deals an arc of cards and shuffles them back into her hands like a gift to herself. This game is all hers, she says, all hers. It hadn't worked out for Coy -- something about her not being able to lift one hunderd pounds. Doesn't take that much to match two shoes, she says, or powder a nose -- even Neil's nose, which is no amll thing. What a jewel of a summer job. Off-stage Manager's Assistant. All of a sudden she drops her cards and throws up her arms, like she's looking for a tattoo. She's held a lot with them, she says. A thousand pounds of babies, for one thing. I do think they look weak next to her broad hips -- like sprouts from a bulb. But they're stong as screwdrivers. This night Coy dreams it all over. Neil's teeth cleam in one welded white arc, like an oracle. And her dead husband sings back-up. In her mind Scott is altogether how he looked at the Diamond concert when they went together in '81. Coy could see him perfectly, down to the way his lips spread around a grin that showed his own bridge of teeth like a contoloupe rind. She is up at two this morning. I hear her turn over Neil's record several times. Long enough to hear every scratch on every ballad through the wall.