So my next stop became the corner bar
gin in my glass, lovely young lady in a Santa-hat to pour.
College B-Ball on the flat screen makes a more
appropriate target for my stare.
Still thinking about my friends from this morning’s writers table,
who give me so much, my real food for the week.
Paul, Gayle, Rena and Dan. A full portion of pages to love and struggle with.
Next a little lunch and after that, home.
Three stops. Three different places to fill three different checkboxes on my list.
That is a very poor way of describing what I want and need in my life.
Poetry, gin, beauty, sex, music, family, friends. Conversations to poach and words to breathe.
Meanwhile, Bob Dylan and Richard Hugo sing a sarcastic mental accompaniment.
I love the voices I hear at the bar
The way they talk to each other
The words they pick to flirt up the bartender
The drinks they drink and the smack they speak
I want to own a bar, and live over it on the second floor.
My table always waiting for me in the back, close enough to hear but
far enough to hide and watch.
Gin and rocks number two, with a little black pepper. Oh happy combinations.
The man across the bar is telling the bartender that his dad died last month while he smiles.
There must be something ironic that I missed. Does he think this makes him more attractive?
She doesn’t flinch a bit. Now the marriage talk, the break up, the fault talk, the what’s your sign.
He leans closer to the bar and nods it all in with something like empathy.
It has a familiar rhythm.
She (the bartender) says, “I’m on my second major, now it’s psychology, and I learned that marriage is really all about…” She’s about 22. More listening, more typing by me.
Then looking up from my keyboard to find she’s asking if I want another drink.
I decide two is enough for a cheeseburger lunch.
Things to do, you know. On to the next.