, , ,


Nighthawks by Edward Hopper – 1942

I saw the above picture for the first time, when I browsed over The Daily Post yesterday. I have no idea what I want to write about, when I stared at the picture. The only thing that I can imagine is an old movie from Hollywood, and I don’t know a thing about old Hollywood movies, except of Gone with the Wind (I haven’t watch it though).

After a day of thinking, one thing had come across my mind. I get focused onto the so-called ‘soda jerk’ (as if what they’re referring to). Looks like busy entertaining his customer while making another soda for another guy with his back to the viewer.

Nobody knows what a life that the soda man have gone through, and must go through after going back from this cafe called Phillies.

His name is Lyle. Yeah, at least he wants people to call him Lyle. He managed to learn American slang after 10 years lived in New York city. He actually was born in a very small village called Hue in Aberdeen, Scotland. In the picture, he was 22 years old, not married but have a girlfriend back in Scotland.

He worked as a waiter in Phillies since the cafe opened 3 years ago. During daytime, Lyle worked as a paper guy, delivering newspaper and private journals for the Americans. Every morning he woke up sharp at 5:30 am, just to pick-up the newly printed newspaper at the American Journals which ready to be delivered on 6:00 am. Lyle would ride a bicycle from house to house, from shop to shop, from office to office to deliver the newspaper. After riding a bicycle for about 4 hours, he would stop-by at Phillies, to sip a drink (usually the cheap, left-over coffees that his boss rejected after coffee testing).

Lyle had no house, so he actually stayed in the Phillies. In a room sized as small as his body (just an inch or two bigger), which allows him to straight up his legs and get rest.

At night, Lyle will start to serve people in Phillies sharp at 7:30 pm. During this special night, he feels a bit more energized and start to work early at Phillies. At around 12 pm, came by a guy, full with black fedora and tie with smoky shoes and yellowish slack pants. He sat a bit farther from Lyle’s spot. Lyle just staring at him, while smile.

“yes, sir. Would you like something?” Lyle asked, without thinking.
The guy only nodded, while staring at his watch.

Understand what is popping in the guy’s mind, Lyle spoke, “Oh, it’s still early sir.” His hand just making a soda and poured it into the higher pinch glass.

“Hey,kid. Something going to happen after this. Just shout your mouth up,” the guy replied.

A minute later, a couple came by and sit near to Lyle position of making the soda. Lyle nodded to the guy and spoken, “Hello sir, night. Would you like to drink? How about mam?”

The lady with red dress beside the guy just smiling and lightly smirking towards her couple. Lyle just smiling and continue shaking the soda in his hands.

“I would like only water for both me and her.”

Lyle, just showing his thumbs up while holding a glass to serve the other guy, whose showing his back towards the audience.

Deep inside the lady in red dress is actually crying. Lyle would not know that, because she keep smiling. But Lyle can actually read people’s eyes. Something had happened between this two couple. Lyle can predict that the lady is suffering.

“Hey, what makes you prepare the water so long?” Lyle surprised with the guy saying, with louder voice. Lyle nodded slowly and hand over two glasses of water to the couple. Lyle just staring at the lady’s eyes. She still smiling at him, but her eyes means different.

“Excuse me. I really need to go to the bathroom. Can you show me?” spoke the lady politely to Lyle.

“Why? Why do you need to the bathroom now? Please explain” spoke the guy beside her.

Lyle just about to show her the way of the bathroom before the guy spoken. The lady just stood up, while ignoring the guy.

“May I ask, are you okay mam?” Lyle asked the lady, bravely while walking to the back of the cafe, towards the bathroom at the end of the walkway.

The lady suddenly started to cry and she said, “He is my husband and he’s going to kill me. He had killed my whole family and I am the last person that he had left.”

~ to be continued…