H.A.G is the Name of the Bar

Across the dead street lives a karaoke bar that smells of seafood and tacos. The neon sign spells out the initials H.A.G. There are no windows except for a small horizontal pane of glass at the top of the door. If you look through it, you’ll see bodies pressed up against each other moving through a fog of smoke and sweat. Tiny red lights pop in an out at various points. There’s a rumble of sound but you can’t make out anything definitive.

On most nights after work, Corey walks by the bar without noticing it. He’s wrapped up in his thoughts, his body tight from sitting at a desk all day. Tonight, the sky is oil black and the street is silent. He hears the smack of his rubber shoes on the pavement and goes inside.

Four hours from now when the street is a corpse, Corey will exit the bar without his jacket or wallet wearing lipstick and eyeliner. His hair will smell of shrimp and his shoes will be dirty. He will not know what the initials H.A.G mean.

Down the street he’ll feel the cold air on his thin arms, shiver slightly, and look back to the bar. He’ll wonder if he went inside with a jacket, realize he had, but decide not to go back in. The night will plaster itself on his temple, heavy and thick, and the only sound will remain the faint hum of Stevie wonder’s voice.

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