“Shit,” says Anton Newcombe. “This place looks like a dump.” He wobbles on his roller skates, adjusting his sunglasses. “I can’t see a goddamn thing.”
The Olsen twins, looking like two small blind monkeys in their over-sized shades, also look perplexed.
“Well, this is what happens when you burn our dinner to a crisp,” says Virginia Woolf.
The dinner party had gone awry—worse than what they bargained for. Virginia shakes the pockets of her long dress, which are filled with rocks she collected along the way. The noise sets Anton off balance, and he falls for the third time that night, skates in the air. The floor is wooden and the sound of the fall reverberates throughout the empty bar. A jukebox glows in a lonely corner and a man in a bowler hat sits slumped on a stool. With a crackle, a Hank Williams song begins to softly play. The slumped man starts humming a different song, his voice a low rumble like a subway approaching underground.
“Ew,” says an Olsen twin. “This place is gross.”
“Let’s get a seat,” says Virginia.
No one is behind the bar. Crawling up onto a stool, Anton takes off his sunglasses.
“Where’s my fucking beer?” he asks.
The Olsen twins settle into a single seat. They each contemplate removing their enormous sunglasses but keep glancing at one another, waiting for the other to act first. Virginia scours the area behind the bar for the bartender. She shakes the rocks in her pockets.
Anton begins banging his fists on the counter. It starts out as a monotonous single beat but gets more complex as he adds another hand, then the soles of his skates, the wheels rattling against the bars of the stool. The Olsen twins vaguely nod their heads along like bobble heads on a dashboard.
A man rises up from the floor behind the bar. He shakes his head and pinches his grizzled face. He looks absently at the people sitting at the bar and lights up a crooked cigarette.
“What the fuck to you want?” he asks.
“Scotch,” says Virginia. “No ice.”
The Olsen twins stare, their mouths agape as if they’re waiting for something to fly in. The man hands Virginia her drink.
“Anything else?” he grunts. On his stained t-shirt is a photograph of his own haggard face. Underneath it reads: BUKOWSKI.
“I’ll have another,” says Virginia, who swung back her first just as it touched her long white fingertips.
“Don’t drown,” says Anton.
The humming man in the corner falls off his stool and Bukowski laughs a deep gravelly laugh. The Olsen twins blink their wide eyes, slow and calm, as if seeing the world for the first time.
- topfivefingers posted this