It was bright. It was the hard shine of heat and cactus. Sun sharp with corners and angles. I don’t like bright. It exhibits. It brightens dark things. It makes me edgy.
I was doing a job. A job in the day. I hate it that way. To much potential. Potential for being heard. Potential for being seen. Potential for jobs to go wrong.
The sun wakes eyes. People casting around. Looking and seeing what’s to see. That kind of knowing scapres at me. Rubs me raw. Leave me exposed.
The job was going bad. It was suppose to be quick. It was the knife. It caught my reflection from the light. I saw my face in the blade. In that glimpse I was flaid open. Stripped and naked to thoughts unwanted. It reflected sun in dark crevices. Made me think the job was more. Something meaningful, something needed.
I don’t like to think about a job. I had to empty my mind. Focus on the job. The knife was a tool, doing a thing. It was nothing more. I wedged ‘do the job’ in to my brain. Just do it. A cut and then darkness.
I finished, but it was bad. Real bad. I was jittery. Always jittery after a job. Jittery don’t get noticed at night. At night people are tired. Eyes loose focus. Shadows soften edges. Darkness blurs the senses. Jittery goes unseen. Jobs are better done at night.
I stepped around a corner and up to a door. The sign above read, “Skyv’s Bar”. The letters were thin and straight. They ended out like little knives. I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to remember the job. But this place is what I needed. I had to get the dark. Sink down, fold in. Forget.
The sun followed me like a spotlight. The bar was bright. To Damn bright. All Chrome and metal. Light smashed in from windows crashing into thousands of rays. They bounced. Cut across tables and chairs. They slashed the floor. Sun scored the polished metal bar in lines of brilliance.
I walked to the counter. It was some Martini joint. Everything Martini. I don’t go for that. Not today. Today was hard. It was sun with edges. The bartender stepped over to me.
He was nothing to look at. Thin, twerpy kind of guy. Hair greased up in spikes. Teeth straight and white. Pressed shirt with creases. Metal buttons stapled him to his shirt. He asked me what I’d have.
“Vodka, neat”, I said.
He sat down a glass. It caught that damn sun light. It cut into my eyes, my soul. I turned away.
“Take the glass, leave the bottle.”
I began to sink.