I was enjoying another beer at the Room 4 Bar. I liked the place...it had a friendly, peaceful sort of mood....except for the crashing sounds coming from the room upstairs. I finished my drink and decided to go back to my room and see if I could get some sleep. When I opened the door, I saw that the redhead had returned. She looked the same as before, except for the low-cut black bra with the red tassels she was now wearing, and the pink fur handcuffs hanging from one wrist. The smooth veneer she had before was now gone, and tears had carved black trails of mascara down her face. It broke my heart. I take a certain pride in my cold-hearted facade, and I was uncomfortable with the fact that this broad was causing it to melt. I hate it when dames cry.
"I'm sorry, " she sniffed, trying to regain her composure..."I'm afraid my boyfriend is going to lose control someday. He's a time-bomb about to go off the rails, and I just can't see any light the end of the tunnel. Seeing him like this, he just goes crazy...and that's just how men are, I guess..."
I couldn't help feeling sorry for her..she was living a nightmare of mixed metaphorical cliches', dangling participles, and non sequiturs...and I suspected she might have other problems too. I heard the sound of breaking glass and a large object fell past my window and hit the ground outside with a loud thud.
"Listen toots," I said, " why don't we go get some dinner...there's a little Mexican joint down the block...a good meal and a few Margaritas and the world will look better." She lit a cigarette and blew a smoke ring toward the ceiling. "Thanks, " she said..."you're sweet."
We slipped out the back door, so as to avoid any homicidal psychopaths that might be wandering the halls of the hotel, and stepped over a lifeless form on the ground. Broken glass crunched under our shoes. Nightfall had arrived and darkness now enveloped the town like a body bag. We made our way over the rolling brick path known as Wave Street and past the now quiet dog park. The red neon sign of St Elmo's burned like fire in the blackness. A few people congregated in the doorway. A busty drunk girl laughed a little too loudly. Off in the distance somewhere, the lonely sound of a saxophone floated over the thick smell of beer and cigar smoke like a Mourning Dove's feather on the surface of a stagnant pond. We passed a vintage Cadillac with an enormous set of steer horns mounted on the front bumper..
.then a Lexus with cartoons painted all over it and glued on Barbie dolls spray painted gold. Just some of the local's cars.
We grabbed a table at the Mexican joint and ordered dinner and a pitcher of Margaritas. The redhead just picked at her enchilada absently while I wolfed mine down. She seemed lost in thought and even the drinks didn't seem to lighten her mood.
I went to the counter to pay the tab and when i got back to the table I wasn't too surprised to see that she had disappeared. Gone without a word. I seem to have that effect on dames. I was beat. It had been a long strange day and I just wanted to hit the sack. I made it back to my room at the Silver King and was happy to find nobody lying on my bed. I killed the light from the lamp and lay there, staring into the darkness at the ceiling. I was thinking about Dinah DeMeanor and her psycho boyfriend, and I was thinking about Jake. Somehow, life had gotten complicated when all I wanted was some peace and quiet. I fell into a dreamless sleep.
In the morning I grabbed my french easel and headed down the stairs in search of coffee. A little place a couple of blocks down was open and I got a cup to go, and walked off toward the highway. Traffic was slow, but that was ok....I felt like walking anyway. I had no idea what was next...the future stretched out before me like a gangplank...I could feel the sharp, cold point of a cutlass urging me forward into the unknown. The sound of a truck approaching from behind made me turn around. I put out my thumb as the driver began to slow.