“I’ll have grilled mahi tacos, two of them. Candace?”
“Roger? Roger? Earth to Roger. Come in, Roger.”
“I’m going home. Sorry guys.” Roger got up from the bar stool, left twenty bucks on the table and was out the door. His first thought was to go home, see what was up with Jasmine, but somehow he couldn’t make himself get in his car.
“I guess I need to think,” he said aloud. “Walk on the beach or something.””
“What, buddy?” a voice came out from behind an old oil drum put on the beach for trash.
“Maybe this isn’t such a good idea, either. So many homeless guys here now. Winter.”
He turned up Newport. Trev and Candace waved as he went by. “So embarrassing. First my girl doesn’t show up with me, now, I dunno. What’s the point of love anyway?” he said to himself. He looked around. All the same buildings, many with new paint, new names. “Everything changes all the god-damned time.”
He fumbled around in his pocket for his phone. He’d call her, see if she wanted to meet him down here, walk on the beach. He had his wallet, keys, yeah, they were where they were supposed to be, no phone. “Where’s my fucking phone?” he said aloud.
“Hey, go down on the beach with the rest of the crazies why don’t you?” said a teenager on a skateboard being pulled by a pit bull.
“Who’s crazy?” he yelled back. “I’d like to see your folks’ dental bill when that dog pulls you into a lamp post!”
He fumbled around in his pocket some more. “Must be in my car,” he muttered, and headed back down Newport to the parking lot at the end of the street by the beach, by the bar, by the bums. As he passed South Beach Bar and Grill, Trevor and Candace waved again. He flipped them the bird.
What was left of day seemed to funnel into one small red spot on the horizon. Roger stood a moment and watched, “What if,” he thought, “it’s real? What if there really is a green flash?”