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Johnnie Walker, Red.

2 months ago
Commended by mizal on 3/2/2021 9:23:51 PM
--- Two girls. Soulless laughter. Empty martini glasses. Suddenly, joined by two men. --- Back in the pocket went the little notebook, tucked close to the heart, a perfect black placeholder for where the ol’ ticker should be. The Midnight Pearl was full tonight, as most taverns are on Friday night. Groups of friends huddled around each other, filling the Pearl with inebriated laughs and voices. Let the hair down, honey. Time to relax. Those who arrived by themselves took their place at the bar, leaning heavy on the bar top, their shoulders visibly hunched by an unseen weight. Eddie sat alone. Writing helped him think. Words made sense on the page. They were comprehensible, a set of rules in which he could play in. Hey, you cheated! No fair! Structure, rules. A perfect sandbox to get his fingers dirty in, bending and twisting to his pleasure. He could think. He could analyze. He could… “Can I getcha another?” the gentle voice of the bartender spoke. Eddie had overheard her name earlier. Samantha. She was a pretty enough girl. Young face, fit body. Certainly pretty enough to tend bar. The red highlight in her hair, in combination with a nose ring, was just rebellious enough to say, I been through some shit. Eddie glanced down at the empty lowball in his palm. Wasn’t that just full…? Whatever the case, it’s as empty as a high school hallway in the summer. It’s as empty as the top section of an overturned hourglass. It’s as… Samantha gazed at Eddie expectantly, her attention far too patient for the crowded bar. She focused on Eddie, (like a momma singling out the little runt!) unlike the flippant ask of a passing waitress, checking the box, always on to the next table. “Sure, give me another,” Eddie said, pushing the lowball out. It slid with ease over the polished bar top. A game of miniature curling. Slide the glass, and a full one arrives in return. Good ol’ family fun. Only winners here! Except for Eddie’s liver, maybe. But the organ’s been fighting a losing battle ever since she passed. Just another day for the battered thing. As Samantha reached for the same bottle as before, the scotch with the RED LABEL, she spoke. “How’s your night going?” A casual question with loaded implications. See, the question itself was simple, easy. The answer, however, was a little more complicated, spanning a wide berth of potential responses ranging from “Good,” to “Shit. Utter shit. My wife was taken from me and my shitty-ass lawyer could only squeeze twenty-thousand dollars from the evil corporation that slowly poisoned her to death, and so now I’m slowly poisoning myself to death with the RED LABEL in hopes to be reunited with her.” Rein in the crazy, Crazy. “Good,” Eddie answered, a sudden rush of pent-up emotion rising to the surface, invisible to the public eye, of course. A simple question, yes. One answered with a returned casualness. Only the real answer was much more involved, and just because Eddie didn’t say the words, it didn’t mean the real emotions continued hiding. One hand on the glass of RED LABEL, the other reached for the inside of his breast pocket. The notebook held a quiet dignity. Not flashy by any means, never the center of attention. It served its purpose well, a vault of secrets, the literary punching bag for someone as untrained as Eddie. Words made sense on the page. They made sense flowing from his fingers. Less so, with what came out of his mouth. --- Two girls. Soulless laughter. Empty martini glasses. Suddenly, joined by two men. --- Eddie flipped past his most recent entry, glancing back to the where his subjects stood before. Two pairs of two were leaving, the double date obviously going well. Let’s get outta here, whuddya think? Take this party somewhere else. Change into something more comfortable. Nightcap. Want to come upstairs? How about… Pen hit the paper. There, but now absent. The memory of what once was, replaced with, with, with…nothing. The world moves on despite what cataclysm rests inside, the apparent destruction of one’s life having no effect on the world as a whole. Take it for what you will, either a comforting thought or a pure, unadulterated fuckin’ idea that nothing ever matters. His words were always a little more bold with the RED LABEL in hand. We’re at a crossroads here, bud. The road diverts into two. This train can travel either one of two ways. Pick one and move on. That’s all it takes. Close your eyes, spin the wheel, and crank that sucker. It’s a coin flip. Tails never fails! Success, accomplishment is down one path, destruction and ruin down the other. At least the road is kind enough to leave a signpost. There’s nothing quite like wandering down the road of success only to find it’s actually a one-way path straight to hell. Me? How kind of you to ask! I was chopped at the knees mid-stride, picked up, slung over the evil corporation’s back like a bag of fuckin’ potatoes, carried and tossed on the road, leaving my crippled, broken, and beaten body to slowly crawl on the path most tend to avoid, dirtying my knees, infecting my wounds, pressing on towards the merciful end. It didn’t make much sense. The entries rarely did. The black book wasn’t exactly a diary—certainly Eddie didn’t get specific with the words inside. Some things should never be written, private portions of his mind that he didn’t dare whisper aloud, let alone leave evidence. But the entries brought relief, at least for the passing moment. That could be different in a few minutes, but for now, he’s A-OK. Eddie glanced down. The lowball was empty again. He ordered another. The RED LABEL was nothing more than a small dent in the twenty-thousand, the sum a weight in his pocket matching the one on his shoulders. It could be donated to the RED LABEL Charity for all he cared. Perhaps this time the words would flow as easily from his mouth as they did on the page. The drain is clogged, honey. Nothing a strong liquid can’t help clear. Keep out of reach from children! Samantha’s eyes met Eddie’s. He ordered another.

Johnnie Walker, Red.

2 months ago
Good ad, but I'm still not going to drink red label. Blue, gold, or nothing. Get out of my face with this garbage red label bullshit.

Johnnie Walker, Red.

2 months ago
Guess Green didn't make the cut.

Johnnie Walker, Red.

2 months ago
Haven't been quite sure how to comment on this one. It left me feeling like it didn't really go anywhere, but the writing itself and how it draws you into the moment is the standard Ninja level of quality.

Of course is entirely possible that it's brilliant and I'm just missing some detail because my brain has been tired both times I looked at it.