Barry fell to the ground. He felt the impact from the ground to his tailbone travel up through his spine, through every disc until it rammed right into the base of his skull. In retrospect, he could’ve related it to a strongman game at the carnival. Barry sat up, and as he did, the glassless framed picture of the Moonwink Diner fell out of his jacket and to the feet of the police officer, who was now hovering over Barry.
There was something oddly familiar about the police officer. Barry had seen him from somewhere before. High school? Old colleague? Neighbour? Barry knew that he had seen the pencil thin mustache that hugged the oversized lips. Those large ears seemed vaguely familiar. The officer picked up the frame and examine the picture. “Ahh, the Moonwink Diner. I recognize this picture. I’ve seen it before. As a matter of fact, I was just looking at it the other day while I was whizzing right over in that little bar over there.”
The voice, Barry recognized the voice too. It was distinctive, it was powerful. It’s not the voice of a common man. It was the voice of a…
“Funny how it ended up here on the street. If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought that someone had took it right out that bathroom and snuck it out.”
It was a voice that belongs to a movie star, thought Barry. The face. He was much too good looking of a man to be a police officer. Yet, there was the badge, and a gun in his holster to boot.
“Well, I never thought a piece of work like this belonged in a bar like that anyway. Tell you what I’m gonna do son. I’m just gonna leave this picture on the ground here. Just the way it was before I picked it up. If you see someone interested in taking it, you go ahead and let them alright?”
Barry nodded. The police officer returned the gesture and walked off. Barry picked himself up off the ground and turned around to watch the police officer walk down the street. Barry stood there watching him, until he faded into the night, 8 or 9 blocks down.
On the way home, he continued his attempt to put a name to the man’s face. It was very familiar. Not oddly familiar in the way that it could’ve just been someone he passed by before. No. It was a very familiar face, as in one that he had come across on multiple occasions.
Even as he reached the footsteps to the door of his apartment, this riddle remained. It was almost as if the answer was dangling just in front of him. But every time that he reached for it, it would move ahead just a little bit more.
Despite the age of the apartment, the building was in tremendous shape. The soft lush carpet absorbed his feet on every step, and the wooden stairway was as solid as they were at it’s origin. It was almost as if he travelled in a vacum as he made his way up the stairs.
Barry could tell his neighbour was still awake, and from the sounds of it, watching TV…very loudly. As Barry was about to enter his apartment, he heard it, right from his neighbour’s TV set.
“Take a good look my dear. It’s a historic moment you can tell your grandchildren about. How you watched the Old South fall one night.”