Crazy was playing on The Hog’s juke box, Patsy Kline dragging emotion from each syllable.

Larry had driven three hundred miles. He blinked in the subterranean dark. There was Lenor at the bar with Kyle. Whispering.

She blew a kiss through the smoke over Kyle’s shoulder. Larry perched in front of a TV playing music videos with the sound off. His first beer tasted bitter-sweet. By three no sweet remained.

Kyle left, patting Larry on the shoulder as he went by. Whatever Kyle thought about all this Larry wanted nothing to do with it. He wanted Lenor again, the way they’d been. Solid. Plain and simple. He wanted to understand.

‘Come on Big-L.’ Lenor sat opposite. ‘Let’s dance.’ She put Crazy on. But he didn’t want to dance. He watched her sway to it. When it was over she kissed him and left.

The sun went down. A new crowd filled The Hog. A pretty girl in a cowboy hat asked Larry if she could join him. She bought him a coke and they started chatting. She leaned across the table and took his hand. ‘The night’s young. We don’t need to waste it here.’

Someone put Crazy on the juke box. Larry shook his head. ‘Another time maybe.’

2011-Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)

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