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January 29, 2019

Two A.M. In A Bar Somewhere

Body of lead dead tired and hung over a bar in critical condition early in the morning with a lonely shroud of fog rolling in inside and out...dingy lights choked with smoke and grime from thousands of late nights and early afternoons, dingy red plaid like carpet worn out and that has worn out its welcome...I know, I’ve seen it up close a few times...pattern resembling the kind you see down on the floor in a downtown Las Vegas casino--not on the strip but tucked away a few blocks from Fremont Street...a carpet that calls home the places where casino lights don’t shine as bright and the clientele aren’t the high rollers that wile away the hours drinking down mimosas and eating at 40 buck a plate back in reality, this down-on-his-luck and often down on his hands and knees writer seeks a light in the tunnel—anything to pen the next great piece of literature while balancing that with worrying how he’s gonna make next month’s rent money and where he might get a handout from or hoping he can pay for what he drank...doing this, it is with the greatest of grace and dexterity a la Baryshnikov that he jots down some words on a dirty cocktail napkin while adroitly handling his drink in the other hand...he’s close to waving the white flag in defeat...surrender, give up, submit, quit...his inspiration is failing him so it must be time to order another round of artillery to keep up the fight...the whiskey goes down easy but not the words to paper...the liquor bottles behind the bar are like an audience that’s waiting for something to happen...just staring at the protagonist--they’re not impressed yet...they just stand there in a quiet silence—maybe even feeling sorry for might not be long before they turn their backs and he walks out into the cold gloom of the night...but as of now, he’s haunting the old haunts, the kind of haunts that haunt your nights when you’re alone...places like that are dark with no redeeming features...the windows are dark and you like it that way--not so much that you wanna see out of them and see the grit of the city streets and the rusted cars passing by...but more for the fact that you wouldn’t want to be seen in places like know the places I’m talking about; the ones where they check you for weapons at the door and if you don’t have one, they give you one...he thinks of a couple things and it’s not exactly Dostoyevsky, but he gave up those high minded dreams a long time ago and now he’s just trying to make a living, or at least scratch one out...but all he’s got now to scratch are the fleas of failure that bite at him...god knows, he doesn’t want to go back to spending most of his hours moving furniture--chairs, sofas, sectionals, loveseats, bedroom sets, 3 piece living room sets, ottomans, credenzas...but, he might have to...even though he swore he’d never do that again and his back wants him to stay true to that promise...he sees himself as a man who has wasted his life on the inconsequential, a man who has wasted his thoughts and time on triviality...we all have bridges we must cross, roads we must travel, ugly stained carpets we must tread over…some of these roads are most treacherous indeed.