By David Michael Newstead.
A story in Film Noir speak.
It felt cold as hell outside. I was at the end of a long day of nine-to-five, but there was a frigid wasteland in-between work and home. I grimaced just at the thought of it – another winter. Standing there, the wind bit into my face and I hid behind a coat and a scarf, desperately trying to stay warm. All of a sudden that gym bag I was holding onto seemed about as likely as ten cents worth of pulp fiction. That’s when I realized maybe fate had other plans for me.
A subway ride later, I pulled up a seat at the local diner. On a night like this? I was content to just waste away with everyone else who staggered in from the cold. Then after that first drink and the restaurant’s soup of the day, I began to notice the woman to the right of me and the dame on my left. Outside, it was still dark and bleak and inhospitable to human life. In here though, there were a hundred different faces, loud and animated from too much alcohol.
It wasn’t long ‘til a certain femme fatale turned to me, started telling me all about her divorce. And I’ll admit, it had all the twists and turns of a great detective novel. The trouble was, there weren’t any heroes in her story. Just people being loud and animated.
I finished my drink, said my goodbyes. Then, I paid my check and left.
The hallway of my apartment building was deathly quiet except for the keychain rattling between my fingers. Inside, a few lines of moonlight filtered in through the blinds. I took a deep breath and pulled off my jacket. Suddenly, the room lit up with the dim glow of a laptop. Online, every movie ever made was staring back at me – tonight’s entertainment options. But no matter which classic I picked, I was preoccupied. Part of me kept wishing that winter would finally end.