"Johnny goes to Selten Radio Nightclub" (short noirish story inspired by John Garfield)

John Garfield has been one of my most appreciated screen idols for a long time, his gentle rawness seduced me on the first filmic incursion of his I watched (The Postman Always Rings Twice), his unequivocal candidness and amorous toughness have inspired me to dedicate him this short story I wrote - that reads like a noir poem:


"Johnny left his last work shift in the nick of time, now his boss didn’t look at his direction, installed inside his metallized office. Johnny was trusting in being capable of recovering the production next week.

He put on his denim cotton black jacket and a Cavanaugh hat, his heart suddenly pumping intensified, so he decided to smooth it at a different place, a neutral atmosphere. Walking he looked towards a showy billboard which was winking at him. He previously had ignored the advertising panel in his extrarradio route for years. Leaving his car and approaching Selten Radio nightclub.

-One bustling soirée shouldn’t be advertised in such an ostentious way, he mumbled to no one in particular at his sight.

Sinister showgirls and imported liquors were ballyhooed on the entrace's glossy cartels.

The brunette waitress behind the bar labeled him immediately as an average Joe out of his element. Another waitress (a blonde) recognizes him on the spot.

Blonde Waitress: -What are you drinking, Mr? -she professionally asked him, barely making eye contact

-I’m looking for a gallant atmosphere but this looks like too much tense for a sudden distension, too looney for putting up with an insolent companion. I want to placate my thirst, though.

His response is overlooked by the blonde klutzy waitress.

Waitress: (suddenly reacting to him while serving him a Gin fizz)

-How was your job?

-Which job? gee, just tolerable

Waitress: -your last girlfriend, did she call you at last?

-she called me... an idiot!

-but you're not such!

-I swallowed her alibi...

Johnny examines his Gruen watch sphere, taking a breath of cigarette smoke and perfume vapor inside this iniquity den.

One middle age guy all dressed up in a tailored zoot suit, whispering in a confidential tone to the waitress: (heated air striking Johnny's face)

-I made the decision to stop smoking last Christmas, you know?, Johnny protests irritated

Fop type guy: -Uh? Sorry, Mr. Factory guy (smirking with superiority)

-true, I work at that Gruen factory, good guess... I suppose my cheap shirt cannot compete with your haute couture attire, so if the girl (now the waitress, a little tense and expectant, observes both men) had to choose a bed partner, you would be the lucky guy, unless she has an awful fashion taste

Fop type guy: -I've seen worst dressed guys making it big in the coxcomb racquet, just relax, pal

-thanks for the advice, but I'm here because this club has zatfig and the waitresses are a blaze, they don't need my Thunderbolt around!

Johnny stands up straight and leaves the bar before the vigilant look of the crook and the blonde waitress, darting from the lounge towards a darker corner of the club. His eye pupils alert him of lack of luminosity, but he doesn't feel any more nervous.

He finds the exit door and opens it tentatively, a gust blows outside merciless but he likes the wind's slapping turbulence.

The blonde waitress runs after him in haste.

Breathless and doleful she says to Johnny:

-you're such a badload, a girl just forgets how much alcohol has gone down your throat when she's busy anticipating her next mistake

-You know what Selten means?, it's "strange" in German -Johnny explains to her

-You fit more than me in that spot, she sneers

-You're too pretty for that kind of clubs, Johnny slowly utters

-That club is a dime a dozen nightclub that fills with dime a dozen hearts, she laughs unwittingly

Johnny takes her face closer to him, holding her cheek gingerly toward his intoxicated eyes

-thanks for inviting me, that lemon ice drink was refreshing... and very acid!

She passes her tongue like a cat, licking her upper lip in a gesture that Johnny had never noticed throughout these years before".

FADE IN Copyright (c) 2011 by Elena Gonzalvo