lights and sticky floors
~ It starts with the fall.
has been at least a half-hour since the lights became bright again.
The music has stopped, and the stage has become empty. A massive
giant of an individual is herding the remaining customers from the
nightclub. The club named "The Birds Nest" is closing. The amount
of smoke becomes visible with the lighting and hangs like a fog. The
thick air resembles air from a battlefield. The last patron walks to
the stage and attempts to talk to the previous dancer on stage. He
mumbles something and stumbles toward the door. As he walks, his
shoes stick to the floor that has been showered with warm beer and
The wind blows cold as a man waits,
alone using the telephone post as a brace, a crutch needed to remain
standing. The street that was brightly lit by blinking neon signs is
now dark. The only light available originates from a few dim
streetlights. The darkness matches the mood of the man against the
Dressed in old blue jeans, a pullover jersey,
and an oversized green parka, the person watches the door and
anticipates her departure from the Nest. He is slightly below average
height and well over average weight. His rotund shape is a far cry
from his physical appearance 20 years ago.
into his pockets and begins to count his money. Within the few
dollars are two credit card charge slips. It has been an expensive
night in more ways than one. It will all be worth it, if and only
The red door opens behind the man, and a crowd
leaves the building. The huge bouncer is escorting a number of the
dancers. His last function of the night ensures the girls get into
their cars or cabs. The last thing he needs or wants is to see
someone waiting by the door.
The girls, now fully dressed, do
not even acknowledge the heavy-weight man waiting, even as he
attempts to make conversation. This is just the opposite of how they
reacted toward him earlier. Has that much changed?
waiting man thinks back, what has happened? He tries to recall the
day's events but has difficulty cutting through the fog. How did he
get here, and more importantly, why? He begins to walk back to his
hotel as his memory recovers.
He had departed for a walk in an
attempt to reduce his waistline. The "Bird's Nest," sometimes
called the dirty bird, appeared in his path. He knew what was there;
is this why he elected to walk in this direction? He could have as
quickly walked in the opposite direction, taking him toward the local
K-mart. Did he intend to be here?
He remembers walking
into the Nest and thinking of the entertainment, half-naked women
dancing to exotic music. Not the type of music he would typically
listen to, but then again, young women will not dance to his favorite
music half-naked or otherwise. Feeling comfortable, he figures that
he stays a few minutes and recalls the old days, the days before he
quit drinking. Just a coke or two before he continues his exercise
would be alright.
He knew better than this! No one was
fooled as he ordered his coke. It was only a matter of time before
the fall from the wagon. Why? The fall from grace is and will always
be a hard one. Sometimes the people with the most to lose do not
realize what they have. This is the story of such a man.