It was a cold, miserable night when I threw open the doors wide to Sin City's most despicable drinking-hole.
The sparking, run-down sign flashed "Kadies", almost apologetically whimpered as I strolled in to the bar confidently and arrogantly, like I'd been doing it for years. Grudgingly I reminded myself that I had.
I stepped in to the joint and kept my eyes to the floor, I knew from past experiences that making so much as eye-contact with the crooked drunk, sorrow-filled regulars could get yourself a wicked beating, but if you showed fear. Well, that wouldn't give any favors.
I didn't even know why I came to this dump. I hated it.
I took a seat without hesitation at my usual table and lazily nodded at the bar-maid to let her know I was there. It wasn't long before she came over, why couldn't I ever remember her name?
"The usual, Dwight?" She asked sweetly, I looked up at her, surprised and slightly taken aback that she knew me.
I considered making tedious small talk, but felt better of it. She seemed a nice dame. Too nice for this wreck.
I nodded. "And keep it coming."
She turned and walked away, knocking her head back, removing the strands of hair on her perfect face. I grabbed her arm, gently but firmly.
"What's your name?" I asked, my face still grim, matching the look of the rest of the drunks in the place.
"Name's Shellie, handsome" Came the reply. She smiled sweetly, clearly enjoying the game. I rolled my eyes at the simple answer, my mind blank of how to continue.
"Why are you in here so often?" She asked, breaking the silence.
Looking around the bar and staring at the drunkards, I couldn't say.
"I guess I just like the atmosphere." I joked, and smiled, motioning to the cretins ogling loudly at the dancer.
She laughed, catching the irony. Nice one Dwight, I congratulated myself silently.
"How about that drink?" I asked casually, truthfully not caring for the beverage, but something to say. She nodded with a grin and returned to the backrooms, clearly avoiding the groping hands of other regulars.
Now anxious for alcohol, I grabbed a handful of peanuts at the table and relaxed. I waited for Shellie to return to me.
A few moments later, a fight broke out. I didn't even look up. They were hardly uncommon in seedy bars such as this, and even less in a city like this.
I stuffed another fistful of dry-roasted nuts in my mouth as a patron hurled another across the bar, then skidded, landing uncomfortably in a heap at the end.
I yawned. Where was my drink? I peered over towards the backrooms, I couldn't see Shellie. Shrugging I left my seat to walk to the bar to acquire my own drink. I motioned to the bartender with a flick of my hand. A few seconds later, a beer and shot came skidding my way. I nodded at the barkeep in appreciation, and tossed back the smaller drink.
"You know what happened to Shellie?" I asked the huge man, twisting off the cap from the bottle. A few suds escaped the drink.
"Yeah. She left a few minutes ago with some guy." The bartender replied, not taking his eyes off the dancer. I couldn't disguise my disappointment. "Yeah?" I replied, thoughtlessly, turning my own attention to the blonde. I couldn't remember her name either. I was terrible with names, I realized.
"Yep. Jackie boy, he's called. A regular." He continued, helping himself to one of his own drinks and keeping his hand in his pocket for a little too-long, while watching the blonde.
Disgusted and a little more disappointed than I'd care to admit. I turned away and headed out of the joint, leaving behind the brew and the bartender to his own 'thoughts'. I hated the place. I stepped back out to the cold night of the city with a shrug which was only partially because of the cold.
I headed out to the heart of Sin City, away from the wretched saloon. Alone.
Suddenly I laughed into the night, mocking myself at a sick realization. I'd be back tomorrow. With a scowl only for myself I returned home.