*The image I got in mind while listening to Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain.
Jonah looked the street over. He hated the decrepit look of the brick buildings plastered with torn and faded advertising, the clearly far from new cars driven by their low income owners along the streets with minimal effort to avoid the pedestrians crossing over, some of those homeless. Horns blared and received replies of cursing.
He fumbled in his beaten leather jacket pocket between his keys and a few old strips of chewing gum for his half empty pack of cigarettes, took one out and lit it after a few flicks of his scratched army lighter. The sensation of the bitter smoke filling his lungs and letting it out in one deep and long exhale relaxed him enough to get on with his stroll to Bernie’s.
The sun was already on its way down but the late summer weather was still warm in the shadows covering the street. A couple was in the middle of a domestic fight in one of the half empty apartment buildings he passed, him being the worthless unemployed bum and she being the cold bitch. A little further a kid was crying for candy he’d dropped on the floor.
Jonah drowned out the noises from voices, radio music and traffic as he walked down the street, building his own little tunnel which would take him to the bar he wished he’d already been at.
Near the bar he avoided making contact with the couple of whores past their prime trying to squeeze the last remaining bucks out of the suckers falling for their seductive suggestions. He had no time for that kind of woman. He didn’t enjoy a two minute satisfaction. If he had a woman she should be worth it to hold in his arms the whole night.
He flicked away the butt of his cigarette into the gutter with the rest of the junk that had gathered there and opened the bar’s door with faded yellow fancy lettering on what used to be dark blue but was now more a dark grey.
The familiar hush apart from the background music, dim light, and smell of cheap booze, beer, and cigarette smoke greeted him. Eddie Hazel was pulling off one of his guitar solos. Jonah only needed to nod at the barkeeper once to order his usual shot of whiskey.
He looked at the sombre man at a table on the side. ‘Frank.’ he said.
Jonah picked up his drink from the bar and sat down in front of Frank. He had never known him without the old black jacket, slowly but obviously ageing from wear all these years, just like its owner.