Noir, contemporary, horror and just plain murder, DATE NIGHT, is a novel of the people we meet and the unforeseen dangers we find ourselves. From delusions, to fantasy, to the remarkable push to make something happen that cannot happen, we are always hopeful, forward looking, and trusting that we have control. Sometimes we might, but sometimes we don’t. Each story represents a way we try to control our lives, our environment and our destiny. What we really control is the freedom to tell each other stories of our lives.
I picked up the phone. I couldn’t imagine who’d be calling at eleven o’clock at night. My sponsor from AA usually called in the morning to give me hope for the day.
“Hello?” I said, feeling queasy.
“Hey, baby,” I could hear Clarence’s phony tone. He always sounded like that when he wanted girls to do things for him. He was an asshole, but he was the only asshole in town right now for me. One more DUI and I was through. They’d threatened to put me in Lynwood Correctional and throw away the key. Fuck them. Fuck Clarence. I put on my navy pea coat. I knew I was going to the bar. If I didn’t he’d fire my ass.
“It’s a councilman,” he said. “A big, fat councilman. You can show him all you got.”
I thought I’d puke. I yelled into the kitchen to my mother and said I didn’t know when I’d be back. I shoved my hair up into a loose pony-tail. I’d take it down at the bar.
It was a rusty night. Lots of people think I talk funny, but when I say “rusty” I mean it was windy and brisk-like. You could feel the sharp edges of the wind on your face. I love that. I closed the front door. I don’t know whether my mother heard me or not and frankly I could care less. She wouldn’t give a rat’s ass anyway. Ever since they took my kid away. She hates me for giving up her grandchild. But I liked the couple that adopted him. They were professional, you know? People who had money. They’d do good by him, I knew that.
Outside I got in the truck. The driver’s side door was stiff and creaky. Needed oil or something. If Eddie ever found out I was drivin’ it at night, he woulda kicked my ass. But hell, he’s in jail. He’s lucky somebody’s taking care of his old junk-heap anyway. And I’m still pissed at him for showing my picture to all his con friends inside. That was private. You never know who’s seeing your shit all over the net now. I swear. There I am in my birthday suit and he’s showin’ it all over the cell block. And he’s in the shadows of the picture. Probably embarrassed he’s got like a two inch dick. I hate that man sometimes.
It’s only like ten minutes from the trailer park to the bar. Ma and me got lucky with the trailer. It was the only one left and it was newly painted. The guy who sold it to us even left the green awning. He went to live on his son’s boat or some shit, I forget.
The evening was cold, but it was clear. I turned left out of the trailer park into the main street and it was empty. I mean, empty. Not a car in sight. I went slow. You never know when some dork’ll come slamming out of his driveway and t-bone you, especially if he’s been drinkin’.
I rolled drove a block to the interstate. I could see the neon flashing on and off in the distance. One of those tipsy electric cocktail glasses that flicker on and off with “Bar, Bar, Bar” under ‘em. Like I say, the joint was only like ten minutes away. That wasn’t the point. I was just tired. My breath smelled like the bottom of a birdcage even though I gargled with mouthwash before I left the house.