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8 Hours in a Barroom

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5:45 pm You’ll just stop in the bar for a quick one after work.

6:10 pm Just one more beer to relieve the stress. I mean, it was a pretty rough day. Goddamn boss was riding your ass like a cheap pony.

6:31 pm For an adult your size moderate drinking is two to three drinks a day. And moderate drinking prevents heart attacks. Might as well give your heart a little extra kick.

7:11 pm Those beers are making you sluggish. Have a Beam and Coke to pick you up a bit, then you’ll head straight home and catch Seinfeld.

7:45 pm Fuck, missed the first half of Seinfeld. Might as well have one more Beam and Coke, the last one was pretty weak.

8:21 pm Hey, there’s the guys! They want to do a shot. If you don’t they’ll think you’re a pussy. Nothing wrong with a quick drink with the guys.

8:35 pm Goddamn tequila! Need a brew to wash that one down. What a great buncha guys. You yell, “Who’s buying the next round, ya buncha pussies!”

8:55 pm You’re buying the next round. Wild Turkey 101 is just the thing to trump their fucking tequila. Beer back, of course. You won, man! Who are the pussies now?

9:32 pm Your buddy from work buys you a drink. Can’t turn down a drink, it’d be mean.

10:02 pm Gotta buy your buddy a drink back. Don’t want to be a cheap ass. This is what life’s all about, man, brotherhood. You order a couple Long Islands just to show him you’re a good son of a bitch.

10:29 pm Cocktail waitress asks if you want another, you look into her big blue eyes and yes, yes, you do want another.

10:50 pm Man, this is the greatest fucking time ever! You can’t leave now, you’re the goddamn life of the party. That girl playing pool definitely gave you the goddamn eye. Might get lucky tonight, by God. Have a round to steady your nerves, old boy, then into the breach. Go right up and introduce yourself, smooth as hell, you good-looking motherfucker.

11:30 pm You could have sworn she was giving you the eye. Goddamn whore. She didn’t look nearly as hot when you got up close anyway.   That hurt you, man, that got you right in the heart. Have a shot of Beam and a couple beers to take the sting off. Plenty more fish in the sea. You could write a poem about this kind of pain, maybe you should ask the waitress for a pen. Maybe you’ll write her a poem too. She’d love it!

12:01 pm Old acquaintance says he’s going to Europe next week. You buy a round to say bon voyage. Maybe you’ll go with that crazy bastard. It would be awesome. Find someone to watch the dog and, shit, there you are, bumming around the Continent with your buddy. Never liked him much, but he’d probably be cool as shit in France. Bet the girls are nicer there too. That whore!

12:20 am You have another beer because your goddamn songs haven’t played on the goddamn jukebox yet. Who the hell loaded that fucker up with the Dead? Fucking hippies! You find that fucker and you’ll punch his ass right back to Woodstock.

12:40 am Goddamn foreigner at the bar talking down the good ol’ U.S. of A! Gave that bastard something to think about. World peace? They want world peace? Fire up the goddamn Enola Gay, baby!

1:09 am Fuck the boss! That motherfucker! You’re a fucking poet, that 9-to-5 shit is just getting in the way of your art! Gonna have another Beam rocks, and if the boss man don’t like it, he can shove his measly job up his ass. You’ll tell him that too. Say it right to his fat face.

1:40 am Last call? Already? You’re just getting started! What bullshit. Man, you got to move to New Orleans where you can goddamn drink like a man. Better order a couple because you know your goddamn roommate found the PBRs you hid in the vegetable crisper. Fucker! Gonna call in sick tomorrow, for sure. Fuck the boss! Hey, that girl don’t look that bad. Maybe she has some booze at her house. Hey, baby! Hey! Ah, fuck it.

2:25 am You pass out in front of your TV.

Frank Kelly Rich