To her husband’s relief, Mary accepted his explanation without further questioning or explanation for the delay in response. After an exchange of marital pleasantries, Clarence ended the call, and placed his phone back into its holster.
Looking around, Clarence realized he had wandered while talking to the middle of the nearly vacant lot, which seemed far too big given the size of the Wild Stallions building. His eyes then landed on the large tractor-trailers, and he nodded with understanding. A night like tonight, Thursday — but he saw semis travelling the highways every day, why should this be any slower than other nights? Friday deliveries maybe, save the entertainment for another time.
Clarence began walking back to the club’s entrance, his feet crunching softly against the loose gravel covering the dirt lot, the sound pleasing to his ear. His curiosity would not leave; perhaps he’d ask the cocktail waitress as he delivered one of his obligatory overpriced drinks (what would the minimum be down here, two like he remembered? Three?) whether tonight’s crowd was typical for a Thursday. Waitresses were better sources of information than the dancers, and had more time to talk. He reminded himself to ask the question carefully though, and not suggest he thought the club was failing.
He’d reached the concrete walk when his phone sounded again, text message chime this time. He stopped, grabbed the phone with annoyance, looked at its surface. Andrew — Thanks again, Dad! Clarence smiled, recalling the conversation he’d just had with Mary. Yes, Andrew was going to be just fine.
He set the phone on vibrate, then with a shake of his head turned the damn thing off. He wasn’t going to let any messages, any calls, voices from any medium prevent him from enjoying himself these next few hours. Slapping the powerless phone back into its holster, Clarence continued walking and a moment later pushed the windowless black entry door, the swanky blues music no long muffled but now vibrating into his body like an electrical charge.
End of “Giving Voice”