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Another night, another rat’s ass of a town. Barry sunk forward on his elbows. They were playing to sold-out shows; his darlings were swamped in their booth, groupies setting their buns on the Formica tabletop, hanging over the Lycra seat backs, a lot of young curves and two big, gapped, gray-toothed grins. Barry shook his head.
He was a diner guy, burgers, apple pie a la mode, and make sure the spoons weren’t too clean, but after four months of it he was popping antacids like Pez. Congealed tuna casseroles instead of BondSt sushi. That sent him back, to memories of traffic flashing by instead of bald fluorescent lights flashing in spoons. He and Al and the tasting menu, and fuck the press and the office. Playing hooky like kids, like when they skipped class for the creek or the 7-11.
The cutout of Al - they’d shipped the damned things far and wide - shimmered with a sheen of greasy smoke from the fryer. Barry heard a round of laughs behind him, a playful shriek as an arthritis-knobbed hand grabbed a palmful of jean-clad Georgia peach. Barry gave the cutout a look, a roll of his eyes.
Gloomy bastard. I miss you.