It was too early to drink. Evan stood outside the bar for a moment, peeking through the windows like a private eye. The sidewalk was strewn with cigarette butts and other evidence of regret. Evan walked in and spotted the two them in the corner. The woman snuggled close to the man, who wore an unzipped leather jacket. Under the jacket, a novelty t-shirt read, “This Must Be Maine, Coz I’m Going To Bangor.” Evan clenched his fists. He ordered a double and downed it. He asked for another. Evan sat alone for a while, tearing up napkins and scowling
A familiar face approached Evan at the bar and a few grunted syllables were exchanged. Shaking Evan’s hand, the man called for two beers. They drank, chuckling between swigs. They ordered another round. Later in the conversation, Evan’s ex-wife came up. Evan motioned with his head. The man apologized. They finished their beers, and the man left.
Evan clenched his fists, but harder this time. He ordered a cocktail and threw away the straw. He scanned the room. They had vanished. Evan tapped his fingers on the bar, each one landing with a pale thud. Evan got up to pee and dropped to the floor. One of the bar’s regulars knelt and splashed water on Evan’s face. The bartender glanced over. Somebody called a taxi, but a woman approached and told them to cancel it.
Moonlight shone through the windows. It skipped to a beat, casting pulses of tree shadows on Evan’s face as he came to. He sat up to the best of his ability. He saw the woman in the passenger seat and collapsed. Greasy 1970s rock poured from the speakers. The man in the leather jacket tapped his fingers on the steering wheel.
“Where does he live?” said the man.
“Oak Terrace, off 53rd. Keep going, I’ll tell you when to turn,” the woman said.
“We could’ve put him in a cab.”
Evan tried to speak, but only gas escaped his mouth. He glared at the couple. His every movement invited visual tracers. Evan requested they let him off the Tilt-A-Whirl.
“We’re taking you home,” said the woman. Evan turned his head to the floor and vomited. The car pulled over.
“This prick is walking,” said the man. The woman crossed her arms.
The man dragged Evan out of the car, kicked him in the gut, then returned to the driver’s seat. Evan sat on the curb and belched. He rose to his feet and brushed off his pants. The moon peeked through gaps in a silent aspen. He looked at his watch.
Evan started another walk to the bar.