Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, 1942. Public Domain
Find a Muse in the Masters – Writing Challenge
After walking the streets of Philly for what seemed like hours, Walter saw lights shining into the dark street. He looked up and found himself standing outside a diner. Cold from his walk, he entered the diner to order a cup of coffee. Black. No sugar.
At five o’clock that evening Walter grabbed his jacket, placed his hat on his head and left his office. Without saying a word to anyone on his way out the front door, he began walking only to find himself three hours later across town. He didn’t realize how far he had walked or really where he was. But the light from the diner seemed warm and welcoming.
Walter sat at the bar drinking his coffee. Alone in his thoughts. He observed the couple across from him as they held hands in silence. He wondered if they too heard the news. Then he thought of his family, and realized he did not call his wife before he left work. She was expecting him home hours ago, and it was not like Walter to be late. This day was different. He knew she would understand.
When Walter finished his coffee, he tapped the bar with his knuckles, and asked for the tab. When he got up to leave the attendant at the bar said to him, “Mister, it’ll be alright. Good luck.”
Indeed, Walter hoped it would be alright. He had seen war before, and he knew deep inside this war would be different. He thought he had fought the war to end all war, and now he found himself called to battle again.
Walter looked the attendant in the eyes and said, “You too. We’re gonna need it.” Opening the door, he again felt the rush of the cold air in his face. He stood there a moment, took a deep breath, and then began to walk home.