I think I left my suit jacket in the bar last night because I don’t have it now. In my left hand is the black floppy hat she was wearing. My right hand’s in my pocket, feeling some loose change and a rabbit’s foot.
It’s early. A couple restless bums waking up in doorways throwing off their newspaper blankets the only signs of life.
I’d like to know the time, but the face of my watch is smashed and it’s stopped at 1:58. I know I’ve exactly 613 bucks because I counted it like five times before I got 613 twice in a row. A cringing mutt slinks along the storefronts and small businesses. I notice my head’s throbbing.
Across the street squats the barroom, its neon dark in the daylight. She must’ve been cheating those assholes somehow. Nobody’s that lucky. Who bets on rock-paper-scissors besides fucking idiots anyway?
She pushed her sandy-brown bangs off her forehead, her big hat tilting back, and grinned, crow’s feet crinkling her laughing eyes in a fetching way. “Pure luck, boyo,” she said.
She laughed her mesmerizing laugh and pulled her hat down over her eyebrows.
I must’ve made it across the street from the bar where I passed out against a tree in a small park because that’s where I woke up with her big black hat on my face.
I have her hat but not her. Where is she? I don’t even know her last name. She said she was from upstate New York “originally.” She has a pretty face, looks maybe 40, 42.
I walk around behind the bar to its small parking lot to get my car. It’s gone. In its place is a piece of paper under half a brick. I kick over the brick and pick up the paper.
“Hey, boyo, sorry about the car. You shouldn’t leave your keys and wallet (and credit cards) in your jacket. I left you my winnings to sort of make amends. I had fun last night, I know you did too. I like you, I really do, boyo. Hey, if you’re ever in the Catskills maybe we’ll run into each other. Love & kisses, Lorraine (my real name).
“PS: Lucky for me we’re the same height. Your jacket fits me. Only a little baggy in the shoulders.”
I neatly fold the note and stick it in my pocket. With some of the $613 I buy a bus ticket heading north. As the bus pulls away from the depot I see my reflection in the window. Lorraine’s big, floppy black hat doesn’t look half bad on me.