Nighthawks Dialogue

“My good man, have you got a light back there? I seem to have left my spark in another jacket.”

“Course fella.”

“Also, my lady here has a hankering for something sweet, got anything on your menu that fits that description?”

“She don’t speak for herself?”

“Not if she can help it. Don’t worry, she speaks her mind when she wants to, just a bit shy is all.”

“I wasn’t worried, meant nothin’ by it in fact. We’ve got a homemade strawberry rhubarb pie in the back, long’ with a carrot cake, and a chocolate cake. Between us cracks though, the rhubarb pie is the best you’ll find this side of the Mason-Dixon. The crust is as crispy as anything.”

“Sounds like a swell recommendation.”

“Can I mark you down for one?”

“What do you have in the way of ice cream?”

“We’ve got your run of the mill flavours. Your vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. But fella let’s be honest, you ventured here at a late hour through a chilly city. You aren’t fixin’ for ice cream.”

“You’ve got some gall making assumptions like that.”

“I don’t reckon I’m wrong about em’ though.”

“Well aren’t you prickly. Tell me something, how could someone ever know what a man wants more than the man doing the wanting?”

“I reckon it’s possible. It’s a weird phenomenon that happens from time to time. Humans are the only creatures under God that can be dishonest to themselves.”

“Bull durham If I’ve ever heard it. If you think you know why we’re here better than us… you’re ignorant as they come.”

“…Ah, pardon me then fella, I didn’t mean to overstep no boundaries.”

“No, no, we aren’t turning this page yet. Since you think you’re clever, why don’t you tell us why you think we’re here.”

“I better not say fella, wouldn’t be polite.”

“I insist, friend. You’ve got a long way up to the ceiling by how close you are to the floor right now.”

“Well… If I was guessin’. I’d say you’re tryin’ to spend a weekend night with your woman, on account of when work’s in you don’t get the chance. Then, I’d say that sleep ain’t your friend while you’re not workin’, cause you feel like there’s something you should be doin’ that you’re not. Only reason that’s an issue is that when you’re not workin’ you don’t know what to do… And you’re not privvy to the bottle, so here you are.”

“So you take me for a workaholic then?”

“Not exactly fella, I’m just guessin’ you spend too much time doin’ it. It isn’t mine to say though… might be hers actually. I’m only sayin’ cause you asked.”

“That sets every better. So if I hadn’t asked, you would have thought it regardless without me knowing. Makes me feel prim and proper.”

“…Fella, I don’t think we got off on the right foot.”

“Normally I’d say it’s good for a man to speak his mind, but yours seems to brim with venom.”

“Hey now, hey now. I’m sorry. I pologize’ sincerely. Nothing two respectable gents can’t put behind themselves is it?”

“I honestly don’t know.”

“Well let me help you buildin’ the bridge. What’s your evenin’ consisted of fella?”

“…We went to the cinema. A couple of my colleagues have been raving about a film we finally got around to seeing.”

“Which film’s that then?”

“Casablanca. Have you seen it?”

“Ah, not yet. Haven’t been to the movies round four years now. Thinkin’ about breaking the streak for Casablanca on account of a customer sayin’ she’s never seen anything like it.”

“Say, I bet you’ll imagine yourself as being just like the main character, Rick. Demeanour and all.”

“What’s Rick like then? Without spoilin’ nothin’.”

“He’s a saturnine man, and I take you for a bit of the dark sort yourself. He owns a club, you a cafe, and you both think of yourselves as being sharp as a pairing knife. He’s got some more class, but if you classed it up a bit you’d be a spitting image.”

“I’ll just be content with the rest I think. Class has never suited me, don’t really help me with nothin’.”

“Nonsense. The only kind of man that would say that class doesn’t help him is one who has never had any. It gets you respect, attention… The townsfolk don’t look at me the same way as when I’m wearing a nice shirt and tie as when I’m not.”

“Fella, long gone are the days when I gave a tuppeny about what a man or woman thinks of me as I’m walkin’ down the street. If they’re gonna make their assumptions about me on account of what I’m wearin’ I don’t see a lick of sense in carin’ about their two cents anyhow.”

“What are you, some kind of misanthropist?”

“Nothin’ of the sort. It’s just when a man has had a few fortnights sittin’ lonely in God’s domain he learns quick what he values and what he don’t.”

“…I don’t mean to come off as crude, but you’re sounding like a hermit. If you’re saying you don’t value the people in society, you’re talking recklessly.”

“Your words betray you. I ain’t been unkind to you yet, just challenged your way of livin’ through mine is all.”

“…That’s fair, I apologize. But pray tell, what is it that you value then?”

“Well fella, i’d say that at the end of the day, my bottom line is conversations like this one right here.”

“We’re in a boxing match of the tongue, friend. What could you possibly value in this?”

“Well what’s not to value fella? You know what’s in your cup, I know what’s in mine. Neither of us is afraid to speak his piece, and we’ve both got a few ideas on how to live and love. Right here, it’s your humanity up against mine, and if this ain’t the most genuine talk you have all week I dunno what is… We’re like cars, passin’ one another on a mountain road. For all I know fella, I may never see you again after this, you may never come back here. But, for a short time, I’ve seen the purest version of you there is. Someone who don’t exist to appeasin’ strangers or familiar friends. Mark my words, some of the best conversations you’ll ever find are between two people without somethin’ to look for.”

“That was almost brilliant. How many times have you rehearsed that one in the mirror?”

“Believe it or not fella, you’re not the first one to come in here lookin’ to see me at high noon.”

“Like I wouldn’t believe that. But hold on a minute, something still feels empty in what you said. Conversations can’t be why you do what you do, you can find what you’ve just described anywhere.”

“They come in high frequency here, but you’re half right, they’re only part of it.”

“The other part?”

“Ah… well, this may seem fruity to you fella, but we’ve come this far already. Y’see… this place, is like a lighthouse to wanderin’ ships, and I like helpin’ them find their way. I get all kinds of customers, the mornin’ crowds come for black coffee and eggs, the afternoon bustlers come fixin’ for club sandwiches and cherry cola. And don’t get me wrong, both crowds are lovely, but fella, they don’t hold a witherin’ candle to the souls that are drawn in through the windows by this warm beacon of light in the solemn hours of the night. I understand em’ fella, they come from their cold blues to sit in our room of royal yellow, seekin’ silence, conversation, or something hot to nourish their thoughts. It don’t matter. Cause whatever they need, I’m gonna provide, and by lettin’ me help them, they help me in return. Makes me feel like I’m really livin’ instead of just existin’ day to day.”

“…Well I’ll be damned. That’s beautiful.”

“Can I ask you a question back?”


“Why are you here tonight?”

“…I suppose you’ve answered that for me already.”

“Well, I dunno if that’s completely true. But I have, and am most certainly gonna try.”

“…Thank you friend, and I mean that.

“It’s my pleasure… Now, you decided about those sweets?”

“…Yes, yes I have. The rhubarb pie… Two orders please.”

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