It had started in the rain. I was walking down the street. Wearing a tank top under my trench coat. fedora on my head, chewing an unlit mini cigar with a wood top. I guess i saw a broad up ahead, in the glow of a street light. She was nothing special. Just your average looking name. probably hard working. probably coming home to her husband after a long night at work. I don’t know what it was that made me look at her just then. But it happened.Some punk kid Walking up behind her. Saying things only she could hear. She didn’t like it. She turned away from the punk and kept walking.
I looked around for anyone else on the street, but it was empty. The punk grabbed the broad right in the hind quarters, she pulled out of his grasp. I quickened my pase, my left arm running across my belt to see if my old faithful friend was still there. It was. At least some things in the miserable life never change. I closed the distance as he pushed her to the street. Was yelling something about regretting it. In one flash, my right hook connected squarely with the underside of his jaw. I heard bones crack,and i wished right then to the gods that they belonged to him. He went down like a sack of potatoes. I helped the lady up. Dabbed my dirty handkerchief on her split lip, a futile effort in the pouring rain. From out of the building, a man in a waistcoat and a scraggly tie came out, helped the lady inside.
The cops showed up, big black sedan with a cherry on the roof. The smaller one hulked over me, bad breath and a thick mick accept under the brim of his hat. The dumber one never moved, never talked. Just stood there blinking. Chewing his toothpick. A big black foreign job glided to the curb. It had those big headlights, and those big fenders. The rear window opened a crack. Blue smoke wafted out. The cop leaned down, listened, and nodded. The girl got inside and the car drove away.
Well, youve done it now, Jimmy the cop said. Youve got an angel on your shoulder. The ladys dad, he has connections. The two cops drug the lifeless lowlife onto the curb, and rolled him over into the gutter. Then they drove off.
When I finally walked into the dark and smoky bar, the rain and stopped. I dropped my hat on the countertop, and she walked over. She cracked the top of a bottle, dropped it and a dirty glass in front of me. Kayla, youre too good to me I say as I dropped a wad of Washingtons in front of me.
Why dont you just take that home. Take a load off. Build a nice fire, and drift away in front of it. Or better yet, why dont you just call on her.
I watched every step she took as she walked away from me. I threw a couple back, then pulled my flask from it’s leather holster on my belt, and drained the bottle into it. She was right, you know. Bartenders. They always are.
Why dont I just call on her. The one who haunts my dreams. The one who always answers my call when someone takes me out, and I need someone to pick me back up. The only one who will show up to my funeral when I die alone. They say that everybody needs somebody. They just forget to tell you what happens when you cant actually have your somebody. How watching from the distance just tears at your heart, one thread at a time.
She was the kind of babe that walks by, and every man in the room watches her every step. When she talks, every ear strains to listen. Men fall at her feet, and line her path with roses. And second only to my forty five, shes the longest relationship ive had in my life. Too bad she doesnt know the half of it. She used to come when I needed. Lift me up out of the gutter, run her nails sweetly across the scars both on my chest, and in my soul. Now, not so much. Now, I love her from afar. Watching as she fights the same demons of loneliness dance around her shoulders.
She could have any man she wanted, why she ever chose me, ill never know. But my ship left that port long ago, never to return. Now, she spends her nights alone, hair up wrapped tightly and held in place, wearing glasses that are like windows into her soul. Ill never have that chance again, not because distance separates us, instead biology is the cruel hand of fate that took her away. For her dreams at night are now filled with other dames, and she will never have another of my kind. And that leaves me alone at night, knowing that ill never again find someone who I could trust like that again. Someone who gets past every wall I ever built around my heart and soul. The one who lets me fall asleep to the sound of her breathing, her hand upon my chest as I slip away into the place where I need to be.
So, I get home, i slip my piece under the pillow to it’s usual spot. I lift the bottom of my flask to the heavens in tribute to seeing another sunset. my eyes get heavy and soon I lose the battle with consciousness. The last thought on my mind is a familiar one. I wonder what demons I get to meet when the sun rises again.