Piano Man

Ding.

“Order coming up! Cheeseburger with fries on the side, hold the mayo!”

The plate went from the server station to the wrinkled hands of Gracie, the waitress, a veritable veteran of thirty years at Lou’s Diner. She could balance four plates on her hands and forearms at once when the place was packed. Which was never nowadays. 

“Thanks, hon. Customer at table five was starting to give me the lazy eye, if y’get me.”

Frank grunted in acknowledgement, going back to work on a backed up order of chicken and waffles (not too oily). He was thinking of the letter that arrived today.

Rejected again. Fucking Hell. 

Without warning he gave the stove’s bottom a swift kick that made a loud clanging noise.Squeaky sneakers were heard approaching over the black and white tiled floor. A moment later Gracie peeked into the kitchen window with a suspicious look, “Jesus, Frank, you fall or something?!”

With a shrug Frank just dipped the chicken into the frier. Filling the cramped kitchen with smoke and the sound of sizzling. Gracie stared at him briefly before clicking her tongue and going back to serving the tables. She was in no mood to humor one of his foul moods tonite.

Frank gripped the frier’s metal handle tight with his right hand, the surge of anger was slowly subsiding. Nothing more to do but write to them again. With a sigh he pulled out the chicken from the hot oil.

Ding.

The moon was high in the sky as he walked home, after closing time, to his little shoebox apartment in an old brick building that had seen better times once, long ago. When he opened the door and walked in he cracked a faint, tired smile.

“At least I have you.”, he placed a hand over the keys of a small piano, snuggled in a corner of his tiny studio apartment. Pulling a bench in front of it, he sat down and started to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

Yes. He would write again. And again. And again.

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