He had the angular facial features of a dystopian warrior, but he was just another hero of jukeboxes, pub craic and one-armed bandits. He told tall tales in three-act-structure, tickling the funny bones of his Jazzbien disciples. He laid pieces of his soul out on the table top, like so many precious coins. All full of false features, broken promises and double-sided tricks. He supped Mayfly Mild, chipped his teeth on peanut brittle and watched the walls. Waiting for the right moment to drop the punchline.
Nolan never smoked. He crunched brittle. Sometimes pork scratchings. occasionally those dry little fish & chip crackers. He never seemed to eat meals and he never smoked. Nolan was broad-shouldered and tall, but had the waist and hips of a teenager. His arms could wrap a world of coy hope into a good strong hug.
Though Nolan made most men belch with laughter, he prefered the company of women. His motives here seemed indiscriminate. They needn’t be attractive, or even straight, which was how he came to know the Jazzbiens.
But back in the room he’d just met Jan. He called her Janet Street because she had a haughty fringe. Jan was a writer and Nolan was smitten.
“She likes to write about men.”
The dialogue came from Layna and Mabel, a girl-couple who looked curiously alike, the way some couples do.
“Why?” Nolan offered Jan some brittle.
She wrinkled a freckled nose.
“Because I can. No one gets jealous of my fictions anymore.”
“Can I be jealous?” Nolan asked.
“No.” Jan lit a cigarette.
“Can you objectify me, then?”
Jan smoked and smirked.
“He had the angular facial features of a dystopian warrior, but he was just another hero of jukeboxes, pub craic and one-armed bandits…”