Hello hello hello, all my fans who live all over the world with a special shout-out to all my fans who live in Bulgaria, Sweden, Vietnam and Austria! Guy Hogan is my name and flash fiction is my game.
How’s everyone doing?
I was at Armand’s in Little Italy here in Pittsburgh earlier today. Little Italy is about a 15-minute walk from my apartment building. I live in Oakland, the same neighborhood that the University of Pittsburgh is in. And even though I like Armand’s I have to stop spending so much time (and money) at Armand’s and spend more time (more Saturday nights) at Nico’s in Little Italy for karaoke. Nico’s is where the action is.
Last Saturday night at Nico’s was like a frat party.
I usually hit Armand’s in the late morning after doing some blogging (or doing those things that a webmaster has to do in order to keep his or her site up and running). Oh, I do get into some good conversations at Armand’s that has lead to some really good characterizations on this blog in general (and my fictional alter-ego who shoots the gangbang videos drinks at Armand’s and he interviews in Armand’s many of the women who agree to be gangbanged), Armand’s is not where the real action is.
The real action is at Nico’s on a Saturday night.
But below I’ve republished a flash fiction story of mine based on a conversation that I had at Armand’s. Very little has been made up. Armand’s has been a great source of material for me. Still, I can’t drink as much as I do at Armand’s and go to karaoke at Nico’s as often as I want to. Something has to give.
On a Saturday night in Pittsburgh, Nico’s is where the action is.
This is the Old Soldier reporting for the Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette, a magazine of commentaries, culture, erotic short stories, things Pittsburgh and sex as art and entertainment.
I sat down at the bar and the woman who sat on the stool to my left began to tell me about the death of an old boyfriend. She was a senior citizen like me and her old boyfriend had shot himself in the head. I knew her to see her. She was a regular. She used a cane. She said I knew him, her old boyfriend. She told me his name. I didn’t recognize the name. She said I’d probably seen him in the bar; and now he was dead.
The bartender came over and took my order. He brought back a large draft and he told me that sure I knew her old boyfriend. Reddish hair. A short reddish beard. Always wore a Steelers cap and football jersey.
I said I still didn’t remember him. And I didn’t.
The bartender wandered away. The woman kept talking about her dead boyfriend. I guess she had to get it out. I looked around at the other customers and then looked at her. Drank my beer and nodded as she talked. I forget what was on the televisions, one at each end of the bar.
The poor bastard shot himself in the head.
It happened only a couple of days ago. He had tried to call her on her cellphone, but since they had more or less broken up months before she wanted to make a clean break and didn’t answer the calls. Then he shoots himself in the head. She just couldn’t understand how people could kill themselves. Okay, maybe pills. But to shoot yourself in the head? To jump off a bridge or out of a window? Now he was dead.
The bartender wandered over and said he should have known something was wrong. The night before he shot himself he was in here and he asked me if I wanted some of his stuff he was getting rid of. I didn’t want it. Something told me, he’s going to do something. The bartender walked away.
The woman said, I’ve outlived all my old boyfriends. They’re all dead. One had a heart attack. Another died of cancer. And this one shot himself in the head. I just don’t understand how you do that.
A friend of mine shot herself in the head, she went on. The two kids were upstairs and her husband was in the livingroom. She walked into the livingroom and put the barrel under her chin and pulled the trigger. How do you do that to little kids? What kind of mother does that?
She finished her draft, got off the stool, slipped on her coat and gathered up her purse and cane. She said, “It’s good to see you.”
I caught the bartender’s attention and paid for another large draft beer.