… barely able to stand up straight after a very long day walking the so very crowded streets of New York in search for an event … or a calamity… or even better! A robbery that would make him a rich man and make a lot of the people he met every day whisper his name in damp cafe corners over a glass of cognac. He wanted breaking news, sensation. But… he had been at it for a week now and still nothing. What killed him the most though was the he knew very well that strange or catastrophic things were happening all over that gigantic metropolis, yet… he was -never- at the right time and place when it happened.
"Ha… I am indeed a failure and a disgrace to what is known to man as journalist" he thought and smiled only briefly at his bitter thoughts.
He turned and made a left around the corner into an even deeper and darker alley way. His weary legs carried him to the place that often brought him a few moments of peace. Just a few. And a strange irony hit him and made him smile briefly yet again… "Hell's Gateway" the place was called. Now, the next thought almost made him laugh silently in the chilly air of twilight … "Hell's Gateway – No take away, No runaway". He carried his heavy head down, his hair covering his face partly when he entered the place and automatically went straight to the table that was, more or less, his. Tired, he stumbled briefly over the doormat, shrugged and looked around to prove to himself that indeed no one cared even to look at laugh at him. And he was right.
Suddenly he reconsidered his route and went for the bar. He needed that drink as if it were pure liquid salvation. Brandy. Fiery, deep, savory brandy.
"I'll have a glass as usual, Marty."
"Coming right up"
… took his glass and lazily started to march once more towards his usual table, head still down and pressing his lips together in a last act of will. But he had to stop in front of his table suddenly. It was not free as it was every other evening he had been there… no. This time his seat was "taken" by another. He was frustrated and stood to study and measure that guy. This one was not much for trouble… in fact, he met his own gaze looking up. Motion and emotionless. He felt the anger rise up in him now… seeping through him like poison. The moment of peace had been ruined. But then, he had a little surprise…
"Do you wanna join me?"
… but he stood indecisive in front of the table with his brandy glass in his hand. Suddenly realizing that he was really starting to look stupid he shifted in his position of standing straight and took a more relaxed one, but still incredibly uncomfortable.
"You … really look like you need to sit down" said the stranger looking down at the table again.
Hmm. He considered it and finally sat down on the other side of the small round wooden table, laying his glass down and thinking still bitterly yo himself – "… better make the best of what I can" and took a deep long sip of his drink…