Clickity Clack

by Colin Cassidy

Clickity Clack

     Clickity clack, clickity clack, clickity clack.

    The sound of the train was a rhythmic beat. The man sat at the bar, eyes closed, listening to that clickity clack noise for hours. The bar had its own train car towards the back of the train. Maybe to keep the alcohol as far away from the conductors as possible. Nobody can be trusted around the Devils nectar it seems. The man had been able to control himself around it. He had not drink in nearly 7 years.

    The last time he drink he wound up in jail for a year sentence; domestic violence. His drunken rage caused him to smack his kid and send his wife to the hospital. That was his nadir. The last time the sauce had touched his lips. Seven years strong without a slip up. He got a good job and rekindled his relationship with his wife. His kid wanted nothing to do with him, but who could blame him? A child who watched his father beat his mother and then turn to him.

    The man fiddled with his chip in his hand as the Bartender poured him another glass of scotch. It was on the rocks and the man watched as the smooth liquid splashed about the hard ice, throwing the scotch in a frenzy.

    Rough night? the Bartender spoke. First time the man had heard anything but What can I get you? Tell me when. and Another one?. The Bartender was dressed simply, the same attire as the rest of the train servants. A white button up, long sleeve shirt, black dress pants, and a smock that covered just his waist down. A pointless thing, the man thought, there was no protection against a spill. He supposed appearance was more important than use. Isnt that just the slogan for life nowadays.

    Clickity clack, clickity clack, clickity clack.

    Hah, the man let one brief laugh escape. Rough doesnt begin to describe my night he thought. Howd you guess?

    The Bartender gestured towards his glass. Seven down in the last three hours and no one has come to look for you. Mustve pissed your lady off real good this time. The man looked at the Bartender who met him with a somber smile. The man chuckled and finished off his drink. Sliding it towards the bartender, signaling he wanted another. The Bartender happily poured one more. It was costing the man a small fortune to drink his sorrows away. That was no issue though, money was the least of his problems right now.

Do you have the time? the man asked hesitantly. A strange question he thought. Nobody has time, nobody can control time.

    Its quarter past midnight.

    The man sighed, Its my kids birthday.

    Well tell the kid happy birthday for me when you see him. The Bartender beamed. Is he on the train too?

    Clickity clack, clickity clack, clickity clack.

    I havent seen or heard from my son in nearly five years and its my own damn fault. I honestly had no idea if he was alive or dead until the Boston PD gave my wife a ring tonight. The man paused for a few seconds to down his drink. The Bartender quickly poured another one. Heroine overdose. Can you believe it? We were going to be in the same place as him in a few hours. We might have run into him and reconnected and everything would have gone back to the way it was. No, thats a stupid thought. For what I did to him, there is no going back. The man seemed to just be talking to himself at this point. Maybe he knew I was coming and overdosed to escape me. Im a changed man, he just hasnt seen that part of me yet. Changed? What am I crazy? Look at me drowning my sorrows away, leaving my wife to cry along. Addicts never change. Oh the irony, my son leaves us to get away from an addict, and he in turn becomes one.

    Clickity clack, clickity clack, clickity clack.

    The man finishes off his next drink in one quick gulp. What a cruel world we live in. The man sighs and hangs his head down and puts his drink back on the counter. That will be all for tonight the man says as he stumbles to his feet. He sways back into the wall behind him and then falls back towards the bar and catches himself on his stool.

    He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a few dollars and something else. He puts it down on the counter, his hand covering it still. I dont have much money to tip you well, but I do have a tip for you. The man lifts his hand revealing his chip. Dont do what I did. Dont ruin your life because of the evil you pour each night.

    The man stumbled through the train cars to his room. As he reached for the handle, he heard the sobbing of his wife followed by the sound of a deep voice coming from inside. The words were inaudible, but it did not matter. Another man? With my wife?. The man slammed the door open in fury.

    The alcohol always made him angry.

    Clickity clack, clickity clack, clickity clack

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