I like this story but it needs some editing. It’s too long for one thing. Needs a bit of tightening up. Overall, it is worth keeping and I will get it there soon.
Plot is a happening young writer who fancies himself a Hemmingway, goes out to some crummy neighborhood bars as “research” for his book. It doesn’t go as planned.
He walked on and decided that he would not drink at the next place, only eat. He didn’t think he could stand more alcohol now. It was dark and the streetlights were dim causing him to stumble more than once over broken pavement. Red’s Corner was ahead at a distance, it’s ancient neon sign sputtering on and off. The footsteps sounded behind him and even though on the edge of panic, he glanced back.
A skinny black man with shining teeth was catching up to him. He spoke “That’s right, a black man following you.” He laughed but Jonathan found nothing funny.
Jonathan stopped and turned. He figured that the other man was a twig and barring a knife or firearm, would be no problem for him to take care of himself should it come to that. “Help you?” He asked.
“Don’t get the wrong idea now, brother.” The man laughed and kept walking. “I’m a peace loving soul.”
The man caught up to Jonathan and kept his hands in plain view.
“Now them clowns back there?” The man continued “If Jerry hadn’t been there you might be in the back of an ambulance now. Those boys back there” The man pointed behind them “they’s trifling.”
Jonathan decided that the man was most likely harmless. “Thank Jerry for me.” He said.
“What you out walking for?” The man asked. “Car break down?” Only he said car as “cah”.
Jonathan shrugged in reply.
“Oh no. I know what it is.” The man laughed “Had a fight with the old lady now you walking.” He thought it was hilarious. “I know how it is. Them women can be rough.”
Jonathan shrugged again and walked on. The man kept pace with him.
In his novel, this scene was an entire chapter of banter about women meant to show the contrast and commonalities in male and female relationships across the black and white spectrum.
“Going to a friend’s place on Troy Avenue. Crashing for the night.” Jonathan offered.
“That’s it.” The man agreed. “Give her some cool down time. Don’t you give in and call her now. Let her go on wondering where you are.”
Jonathan chuckled. “Thought I would hit some of the bars along the way.”
“I see. Uh huh. They’s a good liquor store up here before Red’s Place. Other side of the street.” The man said.
“No. The bars. I might go in Red’s, if it isn’t like the last place, that is.” Jonathan said.
“Red’s Place ain’t nothing like T. J.’s.” The man explained. “T.J.’s, you seen what it was. I don’t like going in there. Too many trifling fools. Not Red’s it’s a regular place. They don’t mess around.”
The man looked at him out of the corner of his eye. “And they’s white in there, much as black. Ebony and Ivory.”
“Red’s used to be the bar for the brass works what went out of business. My daddy used to sit in there with his friends from work.” He explained. “Brass works been gone twenty-five years at least.”
“I remember the brass works.” Jonathan said, although he had no idea what the man was talking about.