Friday, December 7, 2012

A Diamond in the Rough

The bar was a dive. They tried to hide it with sub-optimal lighting, but the effort was ineffective. Light didn't hide the grimy, sticky floor underfoot. Neither did it help the awful crooning that crackled through the ancient sound system.

At least the music is good, Inigo said. He was still in control, and had Damian bobbing his head in time to the dreadful beat.

Ugh, Damian replied, I hate country. And the speakers are at least a decade old. Can’t you hear the signal distortion?

You have not experienced the minstrels that I have. This is not so bad, Inigo replied. Besides, your women appear to enjoy it.

Damian's head swiveled toward the dance floor. Even calling it a dance floor was generous. It a space without tables. Several scantily clad older women gyrated in the middle. Their clothes might have looked at home on younger girls. These ladies obviously took pride in the fact that they could still rock a mini-dress. Damian supposed they had a right to their pride; they were very obviously in good shape. He was being unfair, but he did not find it alluring.

Cougars, he sighed.

What do felines have to do with anything? Inigo asked.

Damian chuckled. His mind-companion had some difficulty with colloquialisms. As Damian was trying to craft an explanation, he realized that his body had stopped halfway from the entrance to the bar counter. He was grinning at the dancing women. One had already begun to smile back.

Just take us to the bar, Damian ordered. We're supposed to be destroying memories tonight, not creating more I'll wish to forget.

Inigo acquiesced and they glided across the room with far more grace than Damian thought he could manage had he been in control. Not for the first time, he puzzled at why this was. How would a fragment of his mind be able to coordinate his muscles better? Why should it make a difference? Nothing he'd studied about schizophrenia had shed any light on this. In fact, most of it suggested that he shouldn't even be aware of the other voices.

Easing onto the wobbly wooden stool, Damian-Inigo turned to look at the row of gleaming taps. If there was one positive thing that could be said about the place: it carried a wide variety of beer. At the current point in time, though, there was no bar tender.

Just my luck, Damian whined.

Let me deal with this, Inigo said.

"Barkeep!" Damian-Inigo hollered.  "I desire ale!"

Several of the patrons turned to glare. Most, though, simply ignored the outburst. They were drowning in their own problems. Damian snickered. In previous centuries, perhaps yelling for the barkeep had been more effective.

Then, she appeared.

Spilling from beneath a classic Stetson were dark ringlets of perfectly shiny hair. Her skin was sun-darkened with an olive cast and her red lips shone like sin. She wore an understated tank-top that bowed in all the right places, though only a modest amount of cleavage was exposed to the smoke-laden air. Her jeans appeared to have been painted on, though most of the fun views were obscured by the half-apron she wore with the implements of her trade stuck in it: straws, napkins, and a bottle opener, among other things.

Damian was willing to forgive her the cowboy hat. Hell, he was willing to forgive her murder. Damian felt the sudden urged to regain possession of his faculties.

Hey, Inigo whined.

Shut up, Damian replied. I think I might want to keep my memory, after all.


Post a Comment