A Quiet Night

A Quiet Night

A Story by gabi123
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A contrasting, philosophical, dialogue between two contrasting characters, on a quiet night

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There was but one customer in the small, dingy cafe, sitting at a small table, the breath from his old wrinkled face raspy and heavy. The alleyway outside the window was shrouded in darkness, but the old man’s face was lit up by the dim, electric lights, as his blind eyes groped for his drink. It seemed as if the cafe was the only thing lighting up the sleeping world, as the windows soaked up all the darkness of the night. The waiters working at the cafe knew that the old man was drunk. He was a good client, but if he got too drunk he wouldn’t pay his bill. They kept a close eye on him.


-“I’m telling you, I’m not exactly used to going to my bed at three in the morning,” the younger waiter grumbled, “But that old bloke is here!”


-He’s here every night. But I suppose that’s not his fault,” the older waiter indicated, “he doesn’t have anyone to go to.”


-“What do you mean? He could go home!” the younger waiter exclaimed. The older waiter didn’t understand, that the younger waiter was young, and had a life outside the small cafe.


-“Oh, I don’t doubt that. But he can’t go out during the day. It’s too busy, I suppose. The night is calm and serene, not too much happening in front of him that he won’t see.” the older waiter chuckled.


-“Well, I can go out,” the younger waiter mumbled, not giving mention to the banter made by the older waiter about the old man’s blindness, “but at night I want to be home.”


-“Well, in the day he wants to be dead.”

-“What?” the younger waiter exclaimed.


-“I heard he tried to hang himself,” the older waiter spoke, somberly.


Suddenly, the old man got up and walked over to the waiters, carefully patting the ground with his cane, finding them at the back table in the corner of the cafe.


-“Now, what would you like sir?” the older waiter asked, politely.


-“Rum. More rum,” he answered, quietly.


-“No! You’ll be drunk! No more for you,” the younger waiter said, suddenly strict.


-“Oh come on friend,” the older waiter smiled, and went to pour some drink into the man’s crystal, “here, have your rum.”


The man mumbled thanks, and walked off, his feet making clouds of dust rise up, illuminated by the dim light bulbs. As he sat down back down at the table, the conversation resumed.

  

-“Why would he want to kill himself? Is it money?” the younger waiter said, his voice colder and raspier than it had been.


-“I don’t know. But he has plenty of money.” the older waiter sighed. Ah, how foolish this boy was, thinking life is about money and materialism! Ah, how ignorant of him to forget of the true meanings of life!


-“Who saved him?” the younger waiter kept prodding.


-“His son cut him down.” the older waiter exhaled.


-“Why?”


-“He feared for his father’s soul…”


-“He must be in his eighties…”

-“Yes, I surmise the same.”


-“Oh to Christ with him, I wish he would just go home… I never get to go home before midnight.” the younger waiter grumbled again. He was back to his old, mindless self.


-“He stays up because he likes it,” the older waiter smiled, “unlike you. I suppose you have some important place to be right now, other of course, than helping out poor souls?”  


-“ I’m not lonely! I have a wife! It’s him that’s lonely, and maybe a wife would help him too!”


-“Well, I don’t know about that. Not at this point. He doesn’t need a wife to love him if he doesn’t love himself,” the old man smiled, “no matter how much money he has. You will soon realize that.”


-“Possibly. But I wouldn’t even want to be this old. And old man is a nasty thing. A showcase of what will one day happen to us. Besides, old men always are full of silence and quiet.”


-“But an old man is clean, and an old man has lived a full life. Look, he has drunk all night, and not a patch on his face. And not always are they so glum as you say. And- Yes?”


The old man had again approached them, sneaking up behind them. He was so quiet, that the waiters hadn’t noticed him until he bumped into the table.  


-“Rum. More rum,” he said, quietly.


-“No! No more! Finished! You were almost dead a week ago!” the young man shouted

The old man nodded. For a second, he hesitated, then started walking for the door.


-“Why didn’t you let him stay and drink?” the older waiter cheerfully asked.

-“I want to get to bed. I want to get to my wife.”


-“What is an hour to you?”


-“It’s more to me than to him.”


-“Oh don’t talk like that. Stop saying nonsense and close up. You have opportunity to do some good in the world, and you would rather live a life of excess excitement, and nothing else.”


-“Well, that is your opinion friend. But you really don’t understand”


-“Understand what? You have youth, a job, a house, and a wife! What more do you need?” the older waiter burst out. He had the nerve, oh yes he did, to say that he doesn’t have as much if not more than himself, the older waiter thought. Oh how dense of him! How unthoughtful!


-“Well, what more do you need? You have as much as me.”    


-“Oh, I never had the confidence. And I for sure don’t have your youth anymore.” the older man frowned.


-“Oh just let me go home, without your philosophy,” the younger waiter grumbled, behind the metal cover of the window.


-“We’re two different kinds. I’ve always been the type to stay after dark, helping out the souls who just need some light,” the older waiter cleaned off the tablecloths, “and it’s not all

about youth and courage, though those things are quite beautiful. It’s about having this place open for those who need it.”


-“The bars are open all night” the younger waiter said hastily. He didn't want to have a conversation. He wanted to finally go to bed.


-“But a bar is loud, and intrusive. Here at the cafe, you have a quiet night,” the older waiter finished cleaning the dishes.


-“Ah, I see. Look, it’s been lovely, but if I may, I will go now. Goodbye,” the younger waiter abruptly said, and rushed out the door, seizing the opportunity to go home. He didn’t want to continue the conversation, especially since the old waiter’s philosophy didn’t interest or apply to him. A quiet night to him is just a night where opportunities and time are wasted away, flushed into the abyss. A quiet night at the cafe was a waste of a night, the younger waiter thought.


As he left, the older waiter continued to converse with himself. Yes, of course, he thought, music is not good. Music is too loud, and everyone dancing to it, it's just too much. Lights can't be too bright, otherwise it’s overwhelming. Art? Well different people react differently to arts, but it can be calming. He was mulling it over to himself, and barely noticed that he was now close to the city.


“Oi! Whatcha standin’ there fo’? Come, have a cuppa! Have a bit of fun!” a barman shouted from the side of the lit up street. The city was different from the cafe. The lights were blinding, the music shattering the silence of the night. The city was awake, unlike the small alleyway in which the cafe was. Wanting to be polite, the older waiter walked into the bar.


-“What do you want?” the barman said, politely, but quietly. He was obviously tired, dark circles under his eyes.


-“Nothing. The bar is clean, but it is too bright. And too much music. It’s not peaceful,” the older waiter lightheartedly indicated. He disliked bars and bodegas, with their disturbing bustle and hustle. How could anyone like that?

The barman said nothing. He was tired, and two in the morning wasn’t the time for conversation. After looking around the bar for a few minutes, the waiter saw this as well. He didn’t want to drink, so he bid goodbye, and started wandering home. He would soon be in bed, probably sleeping until the quiet night was over, and until the morning rose up, bringing bustle and hustle. But, the old waiter thought, the morning is much less peaceful, and much more stressful, than a quiet night at the small cafe. It’s walls lit up by electric light bulbs, with its window facing the shadowed alleyway, and the neverending visits of the quiet old man. And while the older waiter’s sleep was deep and impenetrable, he woke the next morning he regretted ever going to bed on a quiet night like the one before.



© 2017 gabi123



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If you are 10, as you profile says you are, then this is INCREDIBLY WELL WRITTEN for a person of your age.

Mark.

Posted 7 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

gabi123

7 Months Ago

Really? Oh thank you! That's appreciated!
matrixmark

7 Months Ago

Keep writing!
Mark.

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Added on March 11, 2017
Last Updated on March 13, 2017
Tags: quiet, night, philosophy, dialogue, monologue, quiet night, play, contrasting characters

Author

gabi123
gabi123

Chappaqua, NY



About
I am a 10 year old, who loves to write! more..

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