Sitting in my house, staring at the wind blowing the plethora of flags in straight lines away from the coast, I decided I needed to do something.
But first I took my shoes off. I went over eight months without wearing shoes anywhere – work, driving, bars, etc., then I went to a Lucero concert and needed them. And then it got cold. Now, it’ 90 degrees inside my house and 84 outside. I think shoes are no longer necessary.
The first thing I do after taking off the shoes and socks is ball up my toes like Argyle taught John McClain in “Die Hard”. Yeah, that shit really works. You feel the stress of whatever the fuck is stressing you just shoot out of the balls of your feet and into the carpet. Thank god for this area rub. The rest of the carpet in the place is like dried cat turds crushed into a pattern. Yeah, it’s that gross.
After opening up the last beer in my fridge – I stare longingly at the 60 Lone Stars I have that are being saved for a party I may or may not have – and grow a bit ornery. I then decide I like to spell that On’ry instead.
I get on my bike and head over to the local watering hole. It’s a bit of a hike, even on the bike. Especially with the huge bridge one has to navigate. And my days of riding up such a thing are long, long past.
When I get to the pub, I take a seat. I’ve been coming here for two years now, but still don’t count as a regular. Why? Because I don’t talk to many people. I guess they know me, but they tend to steer clear. Good thing it’s summer, then, as the tourists don’t know better. Reminds me of one day in Luckenbach when I sat at the bar and drank all day. More people came up to me and asked questions that day than pretty much any day of my life. Even when I was a front desk clerk. Guess I missed my calling. “Man about town” has a certain ring to it for sure.
I plop down on the stool and order a Shiner. The barkeep comes over and smiles. “We ordered you up a new case of these,” she says.
I’m a bit taken aback. She does remember my surly ass.
“Why thank you, Midge,” I say with a tip of the baseball cap – always on backwards – and a tip of two dollars. She smiles and blows me a kiss. I smile and look at the jukebox. It was an old one, but it wasn’t too old. Meaning it played CDs not vinyl. But it also didn’t have a hook up to the internet.
I looked over at two girls eyeing another guy at the bar. He was John, a local fisherman. He had on a yellow trucker’s hat that said “Going all the way” and a dirty pair of khaki shorts. I looked at his feet. Thankfully, he didn’t have topsiders on. Instead, flip flops. Probably cost him $30 bucks those things. Mine? $2.22 at Wal-mart. One of three things I’ll buy at the Mart of Hell – flip flops, mouthwash and air filters for my air conditioner. Which, I never use, but still have to replace the filters every month.
The girls don’t go to the jukebox, so I do. I plop in five dollars. Enough to play 15 songs. I only want to play 14, but I have a 15th. I select the entire Lucero self-titled album, plus the song “Sing Me No Hymns” from Rebels, Rogues and Sworn Brothers.
Midge hates it when I play everything at once, it usually drives the regulars away. But tonight, I only see John there. The rest are tourists. Or one-stoppers as I call them. Sort of single-serving friends like in “Fight Club” except I don’t plan on having short conversations with them. I think that it’s too bad Bukowski didn’t write “Fight Club.” It may have had a better beginning, middle and end. And it was a damn good book. Well, mostly.
But what do I know. I scribble notes in notepads, then write drivel about those scribbles late at night or before work every day. Just doing it because I told myself I would. No goal. No plan. No outline. Just scribbles.
I need a woman to let me sit in front of a typewriter all day long, drinking slowly and typing. She can pay the rent and buy the booze. I can type. And that seems perfectly honorable. Hell, I know it is because that’s what needs to be done. I just don’t have the guts. Always been my weakness. Guts.
I was once told you either have ‘em or you don’t. You can’t grow guts. But you can lose them. So that must mean you can find them. Maybe I just lost mine along the way?
I boy can dream, right?
Not that he can punctuate.