There he was – Joe Soothsayer, sitting alone on a chair in Cafe Sunrise, staring into an empty glass.
Alfredo Aberration, with a glass of warm scotch in hand – no ice cubes, no water – looked up from his Playgirl magazine to stare at Joe Soothsayer, sitting alone on a barstool, staring into the empty glass. Alfredo Aberration looked around him. Near the Jukebox danced the petite and curvacious Lyzzie Short, braided hair in hand, and alone. But Afredo couldn’t but look back at Joe Soothsayer, sitting alone on a barstool in Cafe Irreal, staring into an empty glass.
Alfredo gulped down the last of his warm scotch whiskey, and burped loud enough for Lyzzie Short to hear him, for she turned around and winked at Alfredo. Alfredo Aberration turned towards Hu Kares, the chinese bartender with unreadable eyes and pastel red lips and said loudly- ‘Gimme another one, Chan. And a martini too.’ Hu Kares picked up the cheap fake crystal glass off the scrached bar and filled it without cleaning. He picked out an olive with his soiled fingers from a jar of olives in vinegar and mixed Alfredo Aberration a martini. Alfredo had been looking at Joe Soothsayer. Without a word, Hu turned back to nothing.
Alfredo Aberration got up, martini and whisky in hand, and gulped in some uneasiness before taking his first step towards Joe. Near the Jukebox, dancing all alone, Lyzzie Short frowned.
‘Hey you!’ said Alfredo Aberration to Joe Soothsayer, as he neared Joe. Joe raised an eyebrow, then said ‘Yech’ in disgust. Afredo ignored the reaction and asked suavely ‘How are you, today?’
Joe Soothsayer, turned left to face Alfredo, the empty glass still in front of his face. ‘Disgusted.’ said Joe. Alfredo Aberration, not giving up, persisted ‘Disgusted by what? Maybe I can help. We can talk, no?’
‘No.’ said Joe, simply, and turned back.
‘What do you see in that glass?’ asked Alfredo, as he walked across and sat down across Joe.
Joe Soothsayer cringed and closed his eyes. He took a deep breath, and then blurted out, in a flurry: “I see you, you disgusting pig. You disgust me with your filth, with you gluttany, with your unabashed necrophilia. You disgust me because I see you for what you are. I see you naked.’
Alfredo Aberration looked hurt, and the light above shone down on him harder. His eyes squinched and he frowned. Leaving the martini on the table, he took his glass of whisky – warm and without ice and went back to the barstool he had been sitting on.
At a distance, Lyzzie Short, with her braided hair reaching down to her feet, as low as her desires, smiled as she saw Alfredo Aberration sit down on the barstool. She turned back to Joe Soothsayer, and a warm feeling rose within her, starting from her feet up.
There he was – Joe Soothsayer, staring into an empty glass, sitting alone on a barstool in Cafe Sunrise, completely naked.