Hulley paused from writing his novel. He’d seen and finished a long scene, all praise the muses. Once that was done, he needed to collect where he was and what was to be done.
Scanning the other patrons and front door, he picked up his coffee. Half remained, but cold as iced-tea. Time? Been here sixty-five minutes. Sipping the coffee, he continued peering around, debating options, choices, and plans. Plenty of time remained but his writing energy seemed as spent as a summer storm. It’d been a good day of writing, but —
His eyes picked up on the opening front door, and then his brain shouted, “Holy shit.” His brain’s declaration slammed the rest of his being into shocked stillness. Through the front door came a pale white man, about six three, narrow-framed, with thin white hair and an ancient poets’ beard. He wobbled like he could be tipsy or suffering from a balance issue. Dressed in ragged, soiled denims on this ninety-plus day with a yellow Polo shirt, a Cubs hat, and aviator styled sunglasses, he didn’t fit in. Hulley gagged on recognition: Breech.
It couldn’t be Breech. He almost laughed at the suggestion. It was too freaking insane. Breech was his fucking character, star of the last scene, a gray-blue antagonist traveling the west coast in his big 1970 Chevy Suburban, hunting and killing kidnappers and rapists. Breech couldn’t be here.
With rising alarm, Hulley conducted a lengthy double-take of the coffee shop. Gone was the tidy suburbanized business with its lit glass food cases and soft beige and blue walls, replaced by a cramped, smaller, and darker place, an old home re-purposed as a cafe. It wasn’t that Breech was here; it was that he was there.
Breech strolled past his table like a spinning top losing energy. Although the man wore sunglasses, Hulley felt Breech rake him with the predatory blue eyes he’d seen with his mind too many times. Breech always thought he knew his quarry by the way they reacted to his scrutiny. The guilty stayed relaxed but the innocents were unnerved.
Slapping his coffee mug down, Hulley gulped down a lump that could’ve been a rock. He didn’t know what was going to happen or what had happened to him, but it looked like the next scene was beginning.
Sucking in a deep breath, he began typing. What else could a writer do?
Guess I remain in an introspective mood. Childhood rock spills into my stream, coloring reflections and expectations, although today’s choice came out during my childhood’s end.
Today’s theme music, by Lou Reed, was another vinyl record that was played and worn down until it was too distorted to appreciate. It’d be hard to explain to people who only experience digital music how the vinyl could become warp, or the static that you sometimes heard through songs.
This album, Rock n Roll Animal, was one of my favorites in 1974, lasting through my high school senior year. I stopped listening when I joined the military and went away. Like many, my favorite song off that album was “Sweet Jane”. The guitar work on the extended entry, and then the stinging, fast high note work later, epitomized the emerging rock sound for me as much as Eric Clapton’s work with Cream. Lou Reed’s vocals often reminded me of Bob Dylan, and Mick Jagger later, as he often delivered this broad, inflected flatness that seemed like a vocal shrug.