One of the regulars had a small going away party at the bar tonight. She is moving back to California to continue on in her schooling. She is from there, the Bay Area, Oakland, to be exact. She has a soft round face that is at once pretty and homely, and a thin frame with a pot belly that has been ignored so long it screams out for attention. She has a slow drawl to everything she does. From her walk to her talk to the way she picks up a shot glass. Her entire manner is casual, criminally so. its as if her bones are slurring, and shes just working with it. it disarms you, especially when you have an actual conversation with her.
She is incredibly clever. And not just in a quick witted sense. She can spar with any douchebag intellectual about politics, art, or whatever unenlightened issue that The Post is offering on society. She plays the violin in a freeform jazz-rock outfit and strikes the strings with a divine fury behind a scribbled sign reading: WELCOME HECKLERS. She teaches to kids in the public school system. After work she comes through and has a pint or a glass of the house white wine.
So when I lowered the music and yelled out LAST CALL no one even stirred because she was still drinking and there would be no moves made until she had her last sip.
I didn’t get out until 3.30 this morning. I walked past the avenues, on the way to the palace, stepping on every crack in the sidewalk trying to find the right curse to live by. Trying to find the right luck to change. the trees hung large and looming and the streetlamps burned through their leaves and the shadows struck up from the blackness of the asphalt. the cars smashed by quietly. The city dulled into a low roar.
When I got to the kitchen and opened the fridge all the beer had been drunken and the wine bottles emptied. So I grabbed my keys and headed back out the door. To grab a six pack and listen to the traffic some more. on the way down a girl in a tight black dress stood in front of a taller girl in a tight brown dress and said to her –but you have to understand. The girl in the tight brown dress said the word no over and over again. She kept repeating it, like a mantra. The girl in the tight black dress sighed and put her hand to her forehead. I don’t know what was going on, but their plan, whatever it may have been, had come apart at the seams. I kept walking right past them, unconcerned.
The store was drenched in a florescent glow. I shielded my eyes upon entering. After I found my brand of brew, a subtle Belgian white called Blue Moon, I made my way to the counter. The guy on the other side asked me how things were going and I smiled and said things were casual and placed a ten on the countertop. He grined and grabbed the beer and before I left said, -man, you smell like that good shit, and held out his fist which I touched with my own, then I headed back to the palace to write this and get some sleep.