It’s been a hectic, if not altogether stressful, week. I am writing, don’t fret. Only the blog post is lacking. So I am going to leave you today with a short post- an excerpt from early on in the story. This is prior to Alasdair’s introduction to Shamus.
Here it is:
It’s night once again. Echoes from the highway ring in faint passing horns, rumbling trailers speeding atop overpasses. Crows perched on telephones wires caw at the slivered moon, the evening hustle and bustle, the jittery rodents searching for a fix. Outside, I stroll in a paced rhythm- through boxed apartments, tan hued and in a texture that reminds me of margarita salt. I’d like to throw water, to dampen these buildings, as if they were lacking in moisture. Or maybe that’s just the air- it is warm, arid, heavy on my lungs. Ahead of me a group of teenagers huddle around some kid’s new speaker system, reveling in bass blasts and the one two, one two bumping beats of a deep voiced wailer. Turning the corner, I see Paul’s- the highway sidled bar that’s home to passing truckers, Harley riders, drunks nearing the end of their lives, and, when I’m in Burbank, me. Paul’s a man in his sixties, bald, leathery sun tainted skin. He’s behind the bar and he waves when I enter, pouring a whiskey neat before I could say Stop or No or Give me the bottle. “Long time Al,” and he pushes the whiskey into my hands.
“Just been traveling is all. And what did I tell you about calling me Al?” I tell him. He grins wide and I see that there’s less teeth since our last encounter.
“Right right,” he guffaws and rubs his pruned head, “forgot about that. Always do don’t I? Anyhow, sorry ‘bout that Mr. Alasdair Galloway. Got that right eh?” He bows for some reason, giving me a pat on the back and I nearly drop my glass. I smile and delve into the brownish liquid. To my left, a Marlboro cowboy and his cronies sit side-saddled around a castle of Miller Lite bottles. They pan the bar, looking for golden curves but find none. Wrong place, I tell myself. The jukebox, off in the corner, plays some CCR tune bellowing on about a lonesome bayou. A thickset biker chick wears black leather pants and stomp your face boots and fiddles with pinball in the corner. She does a fist pump in the air- suppose she has bested her high score. I sip and ask for another.
Shamus and Alasdair are in Flagstaff. Alasdair remembers why he loves musicals.
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