Tuesday, April 17, 2007

our battles


im in the city and its been raining. roaring. and ive been drinking. im getting reminders. they are popping up on my computer screen; like unsolved mysteries. i ignore them. they're just a bother.

tonight at the bar we talked about the state of things. just me and the owner. over shots of irish whiskey. it was slow. things were easy. we had time to kill. (i was supposed to play a movie but i didnt. it was going to be "fight club." when the time came though, it felt too jarring. so i forced myself to forget it. last thing i want to be is a buzzkill. buzzkills are lame.) we discussed the world and we did a shot. we debated the nature of things and did a shot. we pondered the union, the nation, and society. and we did a shot and another and another.

somebody ask, -are you going to play the movie? and someone else says, -can i have a makers mark on the rocks? the whiskey goes fast. more than anything else. people want it neat. they want it over ice. they want it with water. they want with a beer back. i say, -we decided not to play it. dont worry, we'll have an even better one next week. i pull back the tap and pour another stella artios. someone walks in. they wave hello and i wave back.

-how are you? you look great. its been so long... forgive me. what was your name again?

we do another shot and i change the music. we talk about the music that always works the crowd. then we talk about the music that is a challenge, and has to be dropped at just the right time. we talk about ipod playlist. we talk about the most efficient way to make one. (in 2 hour blocks.) we talk about how natural different types of music come to certain groups of people. we ask how is that, and discuss genetic code. (or what little we know of it.) we do more shots.

i scream, -LAST CALL!

we turn the music down, but not all the way off. i begin to cap the bottles. he takes out the trash. someone says, -can i have another beer? and i say of course, then grab their glass and pour it. two people head for the exit. then another. goodbye! have a great night! i wave furiously, happy to see them go, but sad to see them leave. thats what my face says. they leave a good tip. i curse myself for not buying them a round.

he mopped the floors and i poured us a few more. he mentions the civil rights marches and the codes we live by. we recognize, for one last time, our battles. then we slam the shots down our throat. i sweep the room with my eyes. all the glasses are polished. then we left back out into the city. and we shut the gate behind us. these are the hours that make up my day.

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:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.