The sun finally came out in the late afternoon. Thank goodness. I felt like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining.” All night it had thundered. I didn’t know that that was possible in a snowstorm. Every time it thundered, I looked out my window and the snow glowed green. That might have been phosphorous at work. I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know. I didn’t know anything. My sister wasn’t around. I just continued furiously typing away at my computer, working on my screenplay, sipping out of an empty flask.
But then the snowstorm ended and clouds disappeared. The sun came out. After a lot of pushing, the door came open. I crawled out of my house and slid down a mound of snow, dodging tree branches. They said it was twenty inches but it felt like a lot more. It felt like Antarctica, like I was surrounded by walls of ice shelves, like I was walking around inside Superman’s Fortress of Solitude.
I trudged down barren Taylor Street. I heard no one. I yelled out: “Hellooo!”
No one heard me.
Everything was so still and quiet. All the shops were closed. I wondered if it would be a wise idea to loot one of these shops. A brick to the window of Al’s Italian Beef would be enough. A double Polish would have hit the spot.
I walked west instead. “Hello!” I screamed. “Anyone out there??”
I felt like Cillian Murphy in “28 Days Later”—until a snowplow sped by on Racine, its teeth scraping the ground violently. It growled at me, and I slipped and banged my knee against a fire hydrant that was poking out of the snow.
I got up. I limped onward.
Sidewalks were out of the question so I walked in the middle of the street. I assumed it was the middle of the street. It was simply a flattened path in the snow. I walked about a mile until I heard Jon Bon Jovi. Until I smelled something greasy and familiar.
I heard muffled voices, laughter. I saw a bar. I saw warm light.
I pressed lightly against the doors, and fell in. It’s like the bar kind of sucked me inside. Immediately it was loud, chaotic, messy. It was dark and bright at once. It smelled like nachos. People were in there singing, banging beer mugs, giving piggyback rides. Having a good time. And it wasn’t normal people. Everyone there was strange. One guy had a long wispy beard with things stuck in it, like receipts and popcorn. Another flaunted a tattoo of Ronald Reagan on his neck. There was a midget. There was a computer hacker with Tourette’s whose tic was randomly yelling out Linux bash commands like “grep!” and “alias!”
“Beer?” a bartender asked me.
I pulled up a stool, yanked my hat off, got comfortable. I spent the rest of the day there hanging out with really random mofos.