Good Morning Mr. Blues


slim_icon.gif ziadie_icon.gif

Scene Title Good Morning Mr. Blues
Synopsis Ziadie buys Slim breakfast, so Slim buys Ziadie a drink. Somehow, it evens out.
Date January 30, 2011

Northern Brooklyn

Dawn has arrived without much ado, the smog and dust and clouds still not permitting most of the rays of the sun to be seen, and the faint ambiance that does manage to filter through is still lingering behind the skyline -or what's left of it. And yet, in the modest light, hordes of pedestrians still clutter the street, their haste not interrupted by anything but the flow of traffick and the blinking walk lights. And certainly not for the man perched on the curb, guitar cradled close, tickling the strings. He's an older gentleman, his clothes deperately needing to be pressed, but he emanates a vibrance and joy that most in the city seem to be lacking. He plays on, moreso for his own amusement and distraction, despite the lack of mind proferred to him by the crowds.

He's very articulate with that guitar of his, and it's clear the majority of his life has been spent in pursuit of the skill. Likewise, his voice is sharp, and oscillates from one octave to the next without any difficulty, jumping to accent the slides and snaps he performs on the strings. He appears to be in mid-song.

"Ye-es! Good mornin', blues," he shouts. "Blues, I wonder, I wonder what you're doin' here so so-oo-hoon." A flurry of sharp tweets ensue from the fretboard, before he belts out another line. "Yes, good mornin', good mornin', mister blu-ues. Blues, I wonder, I keep wonderin' what you're doin' here so soon." Coming with the next chord change and verse, there is an anticipated end to his song. "Yes, you know you'll be with me every mornin', blues," and with the last reverberating chord, "Every night, and every noo-oon."

Ziadie was up early, early for a Sunday, despite the two-day old hangover. Cabs run early, after all, and so he's gone by taxi to the police station in Crown Heights, where he picked up his pension check, something he should have done days ago, and now the older man walks down the street, several blocks over, one arm in a sling, cane in hand. There is a smile brought to the old former police officer's face at the music, and he stops to listen, leaning against a near by bicycle stand that is as of this early hour still devoid of bicycles.

As the song finishes, Ziadie offers the man playing a smile, stepping closer. "Don' think I seen you before," he calls. He points with his cane to a Starbucks, across the street. "Y' play well. I'll buy y' breakfast. Y' could use it." For all of this, Ziadie doesn't seem like he's too far from the streets himself, though his hair is now close trimmed and presentable.

Alas, not many know the woes of being hungover twice in one day, but Slim is a man familiar with the condition. In fact, he could see it splayed out all across this stranger's tired face. The musician smiles, ear to ear: a warm expression that certainly imparts some of its light abound. He follows Ziadie's gesture across the road.

"I'd 'preciate that," says Slim, his voice containing a heavy Mississippi accent that wasn't observed in his singing. "'N from th'looks of things, you could use s'coffee yourself." With a fluid twist, the relic of a guitar is returned to its crimson plush-lined case, atop a few coins and single dollar bills. Swiftly, the top is shut and latched, a motion very natural by now to Slim. He pulls it up to its side, and standing with a bit of excertion and caution, hand on the knee, he rights himself as he clutches the handle. The man nods to the crowd, all but maybe two of whom do nod return the acknowledgement, and takes a step off the curb to catch an opportunity to slip between the cars. No crosswalk, no real strategy; with that guitar in his hand, it might appear as if he's waiting for a taxi. But Slim looks over his shoulder to the man with arm-in-sling. "Name's Slim," he says. "Been roughin' it some sin' I got in town." And then, a break in traffick. The aged man's agility belies his years and is surprising considering the guitar he carries; hunger and the prospect of a meal will do that to you. With a jerk of his head towards Ziadie, he hastily slips across and over the other side and its curb.

Ziadie follows easily, though it seems that the sight of two older men crossing the road has even the most impatient of Brooklyn's drivers actually slowing down, for once. Enough that Ziadie, even walking as slow as he is this morning, makes it across with little problem. "Ziadie." His accent is hard to place, the last bit of the Jamaican lilt combined with the rough speech common to the Harlem area, and it's too early for such complicated things as grammar as some people would have it. Maybe even too early for full sentences, at least on Ziadie's part. A reach for the pole of a streetlamp and Ziadie hauls himself onto the sidewalk, a few steps behind Slim. "Nice t' meet ya'."

The older man quickly crosses for the sidewalk, making for the door of the Starbucks and holding it open for his companion. It's clear that he's eager to get into the heated inside space, out of the morning chill. "Coffee, a drink, a break," he says, as they enter. "But I settle for coffee."

Slim lifts his guitar case up to his chest and in line with the form of his body as he passes through the door so kindly held open by the man. Once inside, he slips his foot against the inside edge of it so as to hold it open himself for his companion. He answers Ziadie as he enters.

"I'd go for both," he says behind a bit of mirth. "But just a cup o'joe is really all I need now," Slim relents. Once his newly met companion brings himself fully into the establishment, he lets the door swing shut, and heads to claim a place in line before the counter. If it weren't so undyingly precious to him, he might set his guitar down to claim a good table, but judging by the way he cradles it, it is indeed very valuable to him. There's a sizeable queue waiting to be served before them, but it moves rather fast, hot drinks being poured out a machine with a hiss and a cloud of steam.

Soon enough, Ziadie and Slim are up to order. Curtly, Slim quips over his shoulder, "Just black -no sugar." It's clear he doesn't have much preference, it having been such a long time since he had a good cup. And besides, the coffee stock in Starbucks is nothing like the pots they would brew back in the Delta when he was younger. He opens his mouth as if to speak again, eyes fixed on that sling, but opts to wait until they obtain a comfortable seat to inquire.

Ziadie eyes the pastry case with a bit of discretion, thinking about it. "Coffee, black," he says, looking at the pastry case some more. "And two pieces of the lemon pound cake." The cane is leaned on his left arm, right hand digging in a pocket to pull out the money with which to pay for their breakfast, setting it on the counter, putting the change back in his pocket afterwards.

Slim's coffee is passed to him, then Ziadie picks up the two pastries, setting them slightly inside of the sling in order to carry them, and then picks up his own table. In the time since the older man and his only slightly younger, albeit far more visibly able, companion have entered, the table that has a handicap indicator on it has opened up, and Ziadie makes his way to sit down there. As a bonus, there's enough room for Slim's guitar to be set safely on a seat next to him. One of the two pastry bags gets pushed across the table to Slim — apparently Ziadie was serious about the food part of breakfast, as well — and Ziadie takes a slow sip of his coffee, the heat an obviously welcome thing, before leaning on the table some and rubbing his head. Mornings.

Slim did not protest or attempt to divert Ziadie's eye from the pastry case; oh, he had seen them himself, but he had tried not to look at them too hard, lest his stomach start groaning. He had a good meal the other morning, thanks to the unprecedented generosity of one French woman, but it was quickly digested in the light of his condition and scarceness of nourishment.

Slim is grateful to have the extra space for his guitar, and slides it onto the bench, upright, before he takes a seat, removing the top to his coffee cup to let it cool with more expedience. "So," begins the man as he lifts the disposable cup to his lips, supping carefully of the contents. "You look in 's'bad condition as myself -no offense intended." Another cautious draught from the black drink, and his fingers delve into the crinkly bag that contains the delectable pastry. A piece is torn off, dunked into the coffee, and popped quickly into Slim's lips. The same hand removes the sunglasses from their perch, and come down with them in hand, placing them beside his coffee. The mistiness of his eyes, bloodshot and somewhat jaundice, did well to illustrate his own years and wear. "Get in a tussle?" he asks Ziadie.

The laugh that follows that statement is a sort of a rough laugh. "Ya' could say that," Ziadie responds, another sip of coffee and fingers drumming in that restless way on the table, indicating maybe that he's trying not to drink at the moment. "Tussle half involved gettin' caught under rubble of concrete and brick, dislocated the shoulder they say." His coffee cup gets put down in order for him to take a bite from his own pastry. "Was worth th' look on th' kid's face when I say 'dislocated' an he near dropped his cup in th' sink." A half grin, there, Ziadie's attempt at humour, though the former police officer is frequent to dismiss or trivialise injury in the first place. "That's New York for you, now."

Slim seems impressed at the man's tale, and his features grow solemn as he nods and consumes a little more of his lemon cake dipped in the hot coffee. His eyes flutter to Ziadie's fingers' percussive musings, but quickly avert. He knew the feeling: anxiety. "Place has changed sin' I was last here. Back in ninety-five," he alludes. "Used t'be a simple affair to get work, find a gig, meet good folks. Now, I'll be damned if I can get the time o'day from most folks." Slim sighs a bit, nostrils flaring some in the effort. "Hell, least in Chicago I could play every night for a meal and a few drinks. Got my work cut out for me here watchin' my neck. 'Fraid to even pick up the paper t'read."

"It's better not t' read th' paper anyway," Ziadie says, moving his cup of coffee so that he can cradle it with both hands, as if doing so will warm his body more. "Media blows shit all out of proportion. It ain't worth th' five bucks the thing costs these days. An' it never important enough news anyway. Propaganda, all 'f it." There's a distinct hint that Ziadie does not think a newspaper should cost five dollars as he says that, and he takes another sip of his coffee, fingers drumming on the table again. Quietly, but the anxiety is still there. It likely has something to with the hangover.

Slim nods, pursing his lips as he does so. He shares sentiments as repulsed by the news and governing bodies in general that rivals Ziadie's own. "'S'all just a one-sided coin, anyways," he says with a fair bit of disdain. The last morsel of the cake is eaten, this time sans coffee, but it is washed down with a sip of it. "Way I ended up here is a bit of a laugh." Slim clears his throat, glancing briefly out the window on the inside of their table to watch a cluster of pedestrains promenade on by. "A good friend o'mine told me of this harp player, Howlin' Horace, said he lived in Queens." He grimaces, frowning at the thought. "Don't know where he got off to, but hell if I could find him. Wandered that place for days, checked damn near about every bar for him. If he was around, he sure woulda hear me playin' my guit-fiddle somewhere."

Ziadie's fingers tap the table a while longer, and he nods, half a smile on his face. "If he knew what th' hell was good for him, he got out of town after th' riots," Ziadie says. "Or if he was lucky, before." There's a bit of a frown, and a half-shrug. "I miss when days were simpler, you know?" Another sip of coffee punctuates what Ziadie is saying. "Sure, was allus an enemy to be had, but it was simpler." There's half a laugh. "Seems I end up th' enemy either way. As much as things change, they stay the same." There's a suppressed shudder that travels through the older man's shoulder, and his coffee gets put on the table so he can rub his forehead slightly.

Slim's own shoulder shrug, expressing nonchalant agreement with the man. "If there's room for it, there'll always be bad folk." And then, Slim decides seen enough of Ziadie's theatrics to feel bad anymore if he were to enable him. Truth be told, he was hounding after a drink himself. Eyeing the pained gesture that the man makes and his faint tremors, he shakes his head. "You look like you could use a real drink," he observes, surmising him with a gauging look. "I ain't found a good bar to haunt 'round here. Might be good to get out somewhere more relaxed, anyways. Mayhap I could find a good place to play my box, too." At that, Slim looks over his other shoulder to the never-ending and constantly swelling crowd that enters, lingers, and leaves.

Ziadie nods, coffee in hand. "Could, yeah. Promised th' kid I …" he trails off, shaking his head, in such attempting to ignore the mental guilt trip that happens to have his roommate's gentle voice. What he promised is obvious enough anyway. "Can't do it, though," he says, shaking his head, almost muttering. It's that half agitated muttering of dependency, really. "Can't, can't." The older man finishes his own slice of the lemon cake, follows it with another sip of coffee. "And more not with the shoulder."

Slim blinks thrice in pretty quick succession. There's not much coffee left in his cup, and he looks down at it now with disinterest with the notion of more effective drink in mind. Once more he looks back up to Ziadie, that very identifiable smile growing familiar. "Hogwash," he says with his thick Southern drawl. "'S just what your shoulder needs. Looks to me like your head could use it too." It didn't seem like Slim would take no for an answer, especially considering his new friend's ambivalence in the matter. "Look, I'll buy. I got a couple Washingtons, enough to settle our nerves. It's not like you'll be drinking alone or nothin', an' hell, he ain't gotta know." Pressuring, he almost seemed to be ready to go already, slipping on his sunglasses in anticipation of stepping out into the now-bright sun. "'Sides, it's cold out. Oughtta get somethin' to warm your bones, yeah?"

The older man nods, thoughtful. Really, Ziadie seems glad of the peer pressure, glad of the opportunity to drink. That's an alcoholic for you, though, and he starts to shift towards his feet, apparently equally eager once the idea of alcohol is involved. "Yeah." The former cop does finish the last of his coffee, though, even if there are only a few drops left by this point. "Near'st bar I know's o'er Greenwich way. Bit far, guess we'll just have t' try our luck and find one." There's what left unsaid, but only minorly so, and Ziadie even manages a fair amount of a smile as he stands up.

Slim has grabbed up his guitar and risen to his feet, pleased that Ziadie has taken up his offer. He slides the guitar out from the bench, and with his other hand finishes what remains of his coffee. Like a mindful customer, he gathers up the trash from the table, stuffing the pastry wrappers into one cup and consolidating it all by slipping one cup into the other and placing the caps atop that: etiquette not very common in this city. Slim leads the way out, stopping briefly before the disposal and tossing in the trash. "Hopefully we won't have too much of a hike," he says, grinning. "Then we'd be even more thirsty." Like a laconic salute, he holds open the door for Ziadie, guitar held upright so as to allow uninhibited passage for his friend.

Ziadie chuckles again, though that emits a wince simply out of aggravating his injured shoulder, but he's facing away from Slim and it's not terribly noticeable either way. Leaning on his cane on the sidewalk, a bit, he glances in both directions, and then very slightly chews on his lower lip as he chooses the direction to walk in that leads away from the Crown Heights police station. This is done instead of asking Slim which direction he'd like to head in. Apparently heading away from the police station is more important for the older man.

Despite having been homeless within the limits for over two months now, Slim has actually a poor mental map of the city. He knows the police department is in that direction -they like to hassle him when he's busking- but he doesn't equate the evasion of it as purposeful. He follows behind Ziadie, guitar swaying in stride beside him, and pulls at the brim of his hat as if it might keep him warmer. The two manage to keep pace with a mob of people that move as one infront of them, but a bicycle courier speeds past with only the warning 'Right!', and the flash of yellow and traffick orange streaks by.

"So, what line o' work do you come from, Ziadie?" asks Slim curiously, attempting to make a bit of small talk as he follows the man around a corner.

Ziadie mutters a bit at the bicycle courier, something along the lines of 'use the street'. There's a half-calculated pace that lets him glance back to make sure Slim is following. "Construction, then …" Ziadie's hedging the question, but he's also turning to look at a sign, a slightly dimly lit bar that seems to be open already. Or at least, that's what the sign would have have them believe.

Ziadie pulls the door open, with another one of those 'after you' gestures.

It was clear to Slim Ziadie was tentatively trying to skirt the question, but he doesn't pry further; he was clearly an outgoing and somewhat heroic man were the story he told him about his shoulder to be believed, especially in the vague manner it was regaled to Slim. He nods a silent 'Thank you' and slips through the door, performing in a natural sort of way a reciprocal gesture of kindness. This time he props the door open with his free arm. "First one we hit is open," says the man with satisfaction. "Ain't that some luck."

The edifice seems to be vacant for the most part. Two men are engaging in a game of pool in a corner beneath a flickering and humming light, upon a decrepit and neglected table. Most is quiet save for the crack of pool balls and the occasional clink of a glass or bottle coming to rest on a surface. One other man is at the bar, but appears to be asleep over his dark bottle of beer. A small barkeep behind the counter is surprised to see the flood of light come in with Slim and Ziadie as the door opens, and setting down a freshly cleaned cup, he saunters towards the end of the bar. "What'll it be, boys?" he asks in a native Brooklyn accent.

Slim looks to Ziadie now, eyebrows aloft above sunglass-veiled eyes. "What's your poison?" he jokingly asks.

Ziadie smiles again, making his way now to the end of the bar nearer the door, where he sits, though he leaves the seat at the end for Slim. "Gin, on th' rocks." The older man isn't skipping any measures here, it would seem, and he raises his eyebrows in a reciprocal question. There's appreciation in the fact that his new friend doesn't seem to ask questions further than ones Ziadie's willing to answer. "Figured somewhere'd have t' be open this early."

Once the older man is sitting down, his fingers drum on the counter of the bar again, then pushing his hair up and back from his forehead briefly. "Y' allus been a musician?" Ziadie's turn to ask about backgrounds.

The barkeep nods swiftly, looking towards Slim before going about to fill said order. Slim, in turn, voices his preference: "Whiskey." The way he said it, it sounded better than food to the man. He removed the sunglasses once more. Not like they did him any good in this dimly lit corner pub. He slips them into his breast pocket as he straddles the barstool left vacant for him. He was getting comfortable, and even went so far as to remove his fedora after leaning his guitar against the counter. He fingered the brim of the hat idly, turning to look at Ziadie and address his inquiry.

"Always. Born in the Mi'ssippi Delta," he says, as if it wasn't already clear by the inflections of his voice. "Rosedale, Mi'ssippi. You know: where Robert Johnson sol' his soul." Slim winks, putting his hat on the bar before him just as the round of drinks are served up. "Paw was a guitar man, was a poker friend o' Robert Lockwood. Two o'them taught me how to play, and Lockwood ga'me this 'ere guitar when I was just a boy." Slim looks back to the drink now, hand encircling the glass, and he sips delicately of it, relishing the sour taste. "Always done some guitar repairs, some gamblin' on the side. Playin' my box's always been my love, though. Gets me in an' out o'enough trouble."

"Yeah, seems as much," Ziadie says. The cup with the gin comes, and the former cop takes a long, slow sip of the alcohol. "Sounds as these days you could use th' out of, too," he offers. Another sip of his drink, and the drumming on the bar with his fingers fades, slowly. The alcohol is having a calming effect on the older man, and he offers Slim a bit of a smile. "I was an officer, most've my life," he offers. Another sip of the drink is taken, and Ziadie starts to look like he's having a little less hard of a time of it.

Slim gives a short laugh at first, before wetting his lips with the bourbon once more and shaking his head wispfully. "Damn right," he says quietly and not in a spiteful way, moreso to himself than to Ziadie. And then he perks up. "Officer? Like in the army?" he asks looking at that purple heart on his sleeve. A hand raises to his bald crown, rubbing it a few times; he was beginning to calm down himself, although he wasn't as visibly anxious as Ziadie was earlier.

Ziadie shakes his head. "Th' force," he responds. He's not elucidating which police force, instead preferring to sit in what has so far proven very amicable company. "Made sergeant, but …" another sip of his drink, and a moment passes and the slight tremors seem to fade more, "retired. While 'go."

Slim nods, and again intentfully does not pry further. He's made a friend, something he can't say he's really come across in his time being in the city. He draws near to the bottom of his glass, amber fluid having slid down his gullet to his great satisfaction. He raises his glass to the bartender, indicating for it to be re-topped. The man does so with a bottle kept behind the bar, and shuffles quickly back to something more important.

"Rough place for that line o'work," observes Slim, shaking his head. "I tell ya, I don't see much but concrete and shadow hereabouts. Nothin' like the lights and sounds you used to fine in the city." Oh, reverie. After taking a deep drink from his whiskey, eyes twitching a bit as it burns down into his gut, Slim sighs. "Lucky I made it this long, I s'pose. Hell if I want to die in this jungle, though."

"Hell if anyone wants to die in this jungle," Ziadie says, shaking his head a bit. The state of New York is one of those hard things, for the older man. "I loved this city, y' know," he continues.

"Most've th' time I as wish I'd never come back. Not sure what there is left here for me, save for six impossible things 'fore breakfast in Midtown…" a pause, Midtown being something he'd not entirely meant to said, but the alcohol has loosened his tongue a bit, "… and a lot of memories." He picks up his glass, drains the remaining half in one long swallow, and he too pushes his glass towards the back of the bar, with a bit of an amused grin as it is refilled.

Slim doesn't seem to notice the presence of any slip up, or register it as anything important really. The crack of the pool cue on the other balls continues to sound, like a berserk and out of time metronome. With a vacant stare, the bald man looks across the room at the two men in heavy coats that have been reracking the table for a while now. Must not be putting any money down.

"Yeah, not a whole lot to do other than struggle," says Slim, slowly turning his head back. "Miss the old days: music, games, laughter. Used t'be a breeze, and none too hard to find in a city like this." Another drink allows for a short pause. "Shit's greasier now than I remember back in Jim Crowe days. Can't hardly spend a day without hearin' gunshots or hearin' news o'some mess."

Ziadie nods, turning his glass around on the bar with one finger for a few before picking it up. "World's gone to hell," he says. "An' best yet, so many of them are too young to know what as came before." The older man leans back a little after taking another sip and setting his cup down. It's as much of stretching as he can manage, what with the arm in the sling. "They don't know what they fighting for, all the time, so why they care if they don' know what we fought for. It makes no difference, to them."

"Somethin's different, though," says Slim. "There's always been that sort. This, this is different. 'S'if for once Big Brother can't just sweep it all under the rug. Maybe they can't even handle it." He wasn't one to spectate on politics, but given his present condition and company, he'd certainly take a crack at it. "You're either a pent-up dog, the dog catcher, or the sick freak that gets off on 'busin' the dogs. What's worse's it's the mean bastards that have the most fun." Bringing the glass from his lips, Slim scratches behind his ear with his free hand. "Ain't no body goin' anywhere, 'n they certainly don't enjoy where they are…The most populated ghost-town I ever saw!" It was obvious that, like most people, the more alcohol he got in him the more he talked, and the more he opened up.

Ziadie nods again, fingers rolling over the surface of the bar, but without the pent-up tension that it was being used for as an outlet earlier. "Past was, struggle happened and then at the end the establishment, they done apologised to the people they was stepping on, and given time, things got made … better." Ziadie's not going to say right. But better works. "Ain't no one goin' be apologising this time. People're too scared." He picks up the gin, takes another slow sip.

Slim scoffs a bit. "'Pologies ain't gonna fix what's done, what's being done. People're more'n scared, they're downright angry. 'N unlike our paws," he alludes, "they got the means to make a statement. But, like our paws, they didn't choose t'be the way they are." A heavy sigh is pushed out of Slim's nostrils, and he rubs at his face hard with one hand. As it is removed and dropped, he brandishes a smile. "City's got the blues, man. Fuckin' world's got 'em. Guess I am s'posed t'be here. Be strange to find myself away from it now, really." Slim reaches over to pat the guitar case beside him, where the headstock would be if it weren't safely tucked inside. "Yep. Guess I'm here to live 'n preach, fun's out of the question."

"Yeah, something like that," Ziadie too sighs, a bit. "Yet we can't lose sight of things that are fun, things that are good. We lose what we movin' forward for if we do that." There is a bit of anger in the old former cop's voice. "You lose sight of that an' you become no better than the dog that's chasin' you." He rubs his head slightly, perhaps trying to think of a more … pleasant topic of conversation. "Mall the other week's made me forget about the concept of fun, somewhat." Another sigh, with a slightly discontent frown. "Never liked it, less so when ain't got a choice."

Slim nods in agreement with what Ziadie says about keeping the good things in sight. With that, he looks down to his drink: the best damn thing he'd had lately. Another sip, and that glass was getting low. "Ain't never been fond of the shoppin' mall myself. The company I try to find is for livity, not jus' spendin' money." Perhaps Ziadie could discern a little bit of falsehood in the latter half of that statement; Slim loved searching out money and new ways to throw it around. "Don't get me wrong, I love my cards and billiards…" Another drink from his whiskey, and the glass was getting low again. Slim takes a deep breath once more, shrugging. "I don't know. Just lookin' for some doin' is all. Tired o'beggin' and trash-pickin' for my meals." Now that was a very sincere statement, that much was obvious.

"Kid insisted I get some clothes, keep them at his place," Ziadie says. There's warmth in his voice for whoever he happens to be referring to. "Went to the mall, eating lunch and then god damn got myself involved in the talkin' down side of some holdup." Ziadie frowns, shakes his head, almost sadly. "Desperate people do desperate things, any day and time." He takes a sip of his drink, and pulls out a few more crumpled bills from his pocket. Apparently he's not going to let Slim pay for the drinks, either way. Something about the younger of the two men mentioning hard times.

"I ain't that desperate yet. Got my guit-fiddle to thank for that, I guess," Slim says, as if music were the only thing keeping him toeing the line. His hand abruptly leaves his glass to come to rest on Ziadie's own, with its bills in hand. "No," he says with a firm but friendly tone. "I got this one. Likely won't spend mine on nothin' else, and might as well here for a fella who bought me breakfast." His left comes up and delves into his breast pocket behind his glasses whilst the right hand returns to his drink, bringing it to his lips and draining the last of its contents. His bills, not crumpled like Ziadie's, are carefully folded and kept neatly as one who puts a lot of mind into his money might have them. He places a handful of them on the counter by his empty glass. "You're settled in up at Midtown, y'said?" he asks. "We can get together 'gain an' I'll let you pay me back, if it eats you that much." There's a wink added for punctuation in that last statement; a good excuse to drink more.

"Was in Central Park, 'fore the kid insisted I stay somewhere warm an' dry at night," he says. Ziadie doesn't argue, though, letting Slim's hand prompt him to pushing the bills back into the pocket of his peacoat, and gives Slim a smile. And it's a genuine smile, with far less anxiety than the man had been displaying earlier, when the two first met. "Sounds good." The former cop picks up his glass, drains it. "Thanks for the drink, yeah? You better let me as pay you back, though." A pause. "After all, not like I do much else t' spend it on m'self." His money comes from a pension check, meager as that might be, but he's not going to point that out.

Slim nods, sharing the same condition. He rises to his feet, securing his hat upon his head once more, and pushing the bills a little further into the counter so the barkeep can observe the gesture. "I'd more'n welcome you to pay me back, friend," says Slim, throwing the word 'friend' around with a smile. "Been thinking about travellin' uptown anyways. Folks 'round here don't pay my songs much mind, 'specially seein' me in the same couple roosts. Reckon there's likely a few places I could get some gigs elsewhere, too." And with that, after picking up his six-stringed treasure, he heads towards the exit. "Thanks for the company, been a good mornin'," he says as he opens the door, putting his back into it to shoulder it open. Oh, shit. Now the sun was drawing low – it was more than a morning.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License