A Simpler Time

Barry sees a picture of the Moonwink Diner hanging in apartment, and reminisce on his adventure through time.

He sat the at the table, staring at the black and white photos. They hung on a frugal brown string, rough to touch and coarse to the eye. There were nine of them, each capturing a moment from early 1900’s Hollywood. Chaplin on the steps staring blissfully at a beautiful flower girl off camera; Astaire and Rogers posing for the camera in sailor outfits; the Charles and their dog Asta, all hanging by a clothespin like they were on a laundry line.

Barry tried to imagine how he would’ve fitted in back then. No, he wouldn’t have. Barry was too “old” of a name, even for the 40’s and 50’s. The women were so different then than they are now. The idea of perfection has ironically devolved over the years. He couldn’t even imagine all the things he was willing to do, just to dance once with Ginger Rogers. Just once, him and the classy blonde, on a ballroom floor, cheek to cheek.

He tried to furnish his apartment with artifacts from old Hollywood. A problem with relics is that that they are expensive. Even when no one wanted them. The owners wanted to be paid and arm and a leg, and sometimes, that wasn’t enough. Just to help them unload and free up room for more unsellable film vestige.  

Barry looked at the glassless framed poster he hung in his kitchen. “The Moonwink Diner - Open All Nite!” There was a moon winking  in the middle of the text. It was the most literal illustration one can produce. He had stolen it from the bathroom of a hipster bar. After taking if off the wall, he slipped it under his jacket and made his way through the bar. The size of the frame underneath his coat would surely have given him away had it not been the lack of attention of the patrons to anything outside their own social circle. Even the bartender was completely oblivious behind the counter, fixated on his ironic manual keg tap. The bartender was completely dissatisfied with the vintage kep tap for not operating on par with that of a contemporary one. Hipster logic.

Just as he was almost home free, he dropped the frame while reaching for the door. The glass shattered at his feet. Barry looked up immediately, and his panic was immediately replaced with confusion. No one was paying any attention to him. He was certain that the sound of broken glass would attract the bartender like a whistle would a dog. Instead, he was completely ignored. Note even a glance. Barry slowly lowered himself to pick up the frame. He kept his eyes on the crowd, as if they could attack at any minute. Even as the door began to close after he had exited, he didn’t take his eyes off them. It was only after he had taken a few sidesteps that he turned and began to run, with his attention still towards the bar. 

Maybe that’s why he didn’t see the barrel chested cop he ran right into…

The End

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