Two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane. Stiffly nodded acknowledgements were traded, and the yards between them became feet and then inches. Soon, side by side, the pair, in matching stilted side to side strides, were headed towards Main Street, and the collection of shops and restaurants.
The first of the duet, Roger-a ginger headed youthful fellow with a badly scarred face (he was terribly self conscious, though the ladies did not seem to mind one bit) and hand on hip-spoke first.
Well look at you! That is rather a natty sporting jacket, and most appropriate for tonight! I’m afraid I look rather dull in these work coveralls…though they are new and clean at least. You are meeting Dolores, I assume?
I am. At the Coffee Cup cafe. Say, could you come around to my other side? I seem to be having a hard time turning my head.
And indeed, Morris-a raven haired specimen with fine facial topography-seemed to be permanently gazing off to the left, even though his companion strode to his right. In a laborious pas de deux, the two traded places.
How about you? Are you meeting Dot?
No. She wasn’t up to going out-said she didn’t have a thing to wear.
Too bad. You can join us, if you like…
An invitation. But not really.
Thanks all the same. But I think I’ll just walk. Maybe next time?
The companions arrived at the Coffee Cup, and prepared to part ways.
Well, here’s my stop. I think I see Dolores-looks like she’s met up with a friend. Are you sure you won’t join us?
No. I need the walk. You have a nice time, you hear? And I’ll see you back at the salt mines tomorrow. Say hello to Dolores for me.
I will. So long.
The door of the cafe, propped open to allow the cool evening air to refresh the diners, seemed to swallow Morris as he entered. His gaze remained to the left, as if he was more intent on watching his friend depart, instead of searching for his date inside.
Somewhere, a clock chimed the hour of seven o’clock. Such a pleasant night for a walk, mused Roger. The breeze was light, and the half moon that hung in the sky illuminated the sidewalk just enough. After about an hour or so, and the final turn on his round trip route, Roger stopped, hand still on his hip, as Pinnacle came into view. The Pinnacle mannequin factory and showroom.
And he was back. Where he belonged.