Wednesday, August 18, 2010

fallen (?)

Fallen - 333 words
Kevin Foster

It had been years since he had stepped foot in the bars on the south side of Chicago, and longer still since he had frequented them, but he discovered on this particular July evening that his calloused feet led him through the streets automatically - he knew this was automatic because the first thing to go when he would drink always used to be his navigational abilities and he had bludgeoned his mind with an unremembered number of drinks before embarking on this tepid journey. In the streetlights that lined the road, sporadically spaced this far away from the city’s center, he could see the heat lingering miserably above the sidewalks, rising like steam from invisible grates. He could feel the heat infiltrating and eating away at the soles of his shoes, and he was glad to walk through the familiar alley entrance to Joe’s and slip up to the end of the bar, largely unnoticed by its patrons. Like all good bars, Joe’s was poorly lit - this allowed him to exist apart from his neighbors and they from the rest. Unfortunately, the inherent darkness, swollen with smoke, shrouded their faces; despite the intense familiarity of the scene, he could not pinpoint any one particularly familiar face. The heat and the smoke and the drone of the bar seemed to expand around him and he felt increasingly drunk. He ordered two well drinks and quickly gulped them down. The evening wore on and he remained alone at the bar’s end, seeing ghosts come, glistening and somnolent, vanishing drink after drink, volume ever louder, until they would leave, elated, perhaps linked with another, blissfully unaware of the heat and the collapsing things and all of the other things waiting outside. It would kill a few on the way home, but no one, including the dead, would know the difference. ‘It’s been too long,’ he thought, and then he realized he no longer remembered why he had stopped coming.

No comments:

Post a Comment