Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I always was a fool

“I always was a fool” said the old man into his drink, “it made no difference to me whether I was drunk or not whether I would get things right. I ran as many reds when I was bleary as when I was sane, I ate as many apples that were ripe as were wrong and there’s not much I can do about it now”. He sighed and swayed and sat still and everyone ignored him except the bartender.

“Another one for the road?” the man in the apron quietly enquired.

“People like you are exactly my problem. You know I want another one. You know I shouldn’t have one for the road, yet you offer me the devils cup and you don’t think twice about me drinking from it”.

“Jesus buddy, I’m just doing my job, don’t blame your life on me” the bartender replied as he wiped his way down to the other end of the bar to serve the new entrants.

The old man was alone now, but he kept talking “I always was a fool” he muttered “I remember when I fell down those stairs chasing my wife. I got hurt real bad, and what did I do? I went to a bar instead of a hospital. I went to a bar instead of going after her. And now look at us, she’s happy and I’m drunk. Same as it ever was”.

The beer nuts looked at him. They didn’t look impressed with his self loathing, but they thought nothing of it, nothing at all.

“I think maybe it’s time I get going.” He said as he put his tab on the bar. He got his shit together, fell off the bar stool and out onto the street. It was windy, and it was raining and he was only wearing a t-shirt. “Shit” fell out of his mouth as he stumbled into the road. “Shit” fell out of his brain as he stumbled onto the pavement. “Thank fuck” fell out of his smile as he entered the hall. AA was still on. His salvation was here at last, and for once, he was here too.

“Not for you buddy, you can’t come in here drunk” a well dressed but obviously haggered young man said politely but firmly.

“I always was a fool” said the old man, as he went back out into the rain. “I always was.”



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