#72 Inspired by Music
Each portion of this story was inspired by the music I was listening to via shuffle.
Song: Flowers on the Wall (Statler Brothers)
Tony strolled into the local florist, obviously not in a clear state of mind. He had just come off an all night bender and the bright colors attracted him as he made his way toward civilization from the less gentrified area of town. The woman behind the counter could smell him a mile away, and kept a watchful eye as he looked at her inventory.
“How much?”, he said, pointing toward an arrangement of flowers.
Song: Learn to Fly (Foo Fighters)
The proprietor eyed the wilting flowers she was about to toss out, as she cleaned the shop shortly after opening.
“They’re free for you if you’d like to take them home”, she said, passing the roses to Tony. His startled look accompanied a tentative “uh… thanks”, as he turned and walked toward the door.
“Thank God he’s gone”, the shop keeper said as she watched Tony stagger down the street, roses in hand.
Tony, however, wasn’t quite ready to go home. He knew that his girlfriend would have, no doubt, left a few dozen messages for him with his roommate, especially after he stopped responding to her texts the night before. It wasn’t his fault though – a broken phone smashed after falling off a bar stool isn’t the best texting machine.
Tony, clutching broken phone in one hand, and roses in the other, pushed his way into the AT&T store near the florist. The salesperson approached, apprehensive as the florist had been.
Song: Another Postcard (Chimps) (Barenaked Ladies)
“Can I help you?”, he asked Tony.
“Uh… broke my phone last night”, Tony said as he thrust the remains of his cheap phone into the man’s hands.
“I can see that!”, the salesman said as he surveyed the damage.
“Can you fix it?”, Tony slurred. He’d started to come out of the altered state of consciousness he was currently a resident of, and the hangover had started setting in.
The salesman looked at the phone, broken plastic and missing battery, and informed Tony that he couldn’t.
“Then gimme a new one”, Tony said. The salesman started the process of replacing the phone, and was grateful when he saw that Tony was due an upgrade anyway. He seriously doubted Tony had the money to spend today on a new phone, but felt confident Tony could at least sign his name.
Song: Pickin’ Up The Pieces (Fitz & The Tantrums)
The salesman brought Tony over to the ‘free’ phones section of the store and showed him his three options. Tony picked the one he could see clearest, reasoning that future benders would be easier if his phone was more visible to him. Drunk logic worked like that.
“Just a moment, Mr. Hendricks”, the salesman said to Tony as he went through the usual phone voodoo needed to transfer the essence of one phone to another. When he was done, Tony collected his new phone and roses and wandered out.
“Pills”, Tony thought as his headache intensified. One last stop before he wandered toward the drugstore.
Song: Shattered (Turn the Car Around) (O.A.R.)
Tony made his way into the store, one of those newer mega drugstores that keeps the drugs, ironically, hard to find. He located a small bottle of aspirin that he was reasonably sure he had enough money to pay for and wandered toward the front. A few steps before the cashier he grabbed a bottle of some beverage from a nearby freezer and placed both items on the counter.
“$3.45”, the woman announced.
Tony dug into his pocket, finding that his phone was much larger than it had previously been, and locating two quarters and three crumpled up bills.
“Here’s your change”, the woman cheerily announced as Tony ripped into the drink and the aspirin, placing the nickel in his pocket. The beverage tasted cherry-like, although Tony didn’t bother to look at what brand or concoction it was. All he knew was that he needed to get the pills down and that he was thirsty as hell.
He arrived at his apartment around 9 A.M., each step on the three flights of stairs felt like a knock to the head. He reached his door, put the key in the lock, and turned it, only to find the door unlocked.
Song: Burn That Bridge (Jimmy Buffett)
She saw him before he’d fully entered the apartment.
“Damnit Tony, what the…”, she stopped her sentence midway as she spied the roses.
Tony, not being a particularly dumb man despite his condition, recognized he might have some sort of opportunity here, given his eye for pretty colors and the bounty it had scored him.
“Sorry babe”, he said as he offered up the roses, “I messed up”. Something inside him told him to shut up at this point and let the flowers do the talking.
Angie looked shocked. Tony had never bought her roses before. For him to do it this morning, in his obviously unkept state, was amazing.
“Let’s get you some rest”, she said, as she guided him toward the bedroom.