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Last Updated 25 August 2018
Another Night... Same Barstool

the phone rings
shaking my head
the bartender calls my name
anger rises as I finish my drink
it disappears in two swallows

whispering… I rage at the wife
“I’ll be home later, don’t call again.”
returning to my seat
making eye contact
“another scotch and water”

staring at the glass
slowly with the straw… it’s stirred
juke box playing
people laughing
a rage is building

an unshaven old man slumped
in his chair at the other end of the bar
stares at a baseball game on the TV
a handful of barstools separate us

everyone else at tables
enjoying their own little get togethers
liquid courage lets me join in
where in a short time… I’m not welcomed

from table to table I go
ending up with the same results
disgust… with the obnoxious drunk
bouncing into people
stumbling around chairs

finally back to the comfort
of a barstool… sitting next
to an unshaven old man
watching a baseball game

“barkeep, give me another”
with a cold stare… grudgingly he pours
another scotch and water
“who’s playing? who’s winning?”
in a quiet voice… the old man
shares the game with me

that’s not enough…
my voice raises as I say neither team
could shine the Yankees shoes
he quits talking… trying to watch his game
I won’t be ignored any longer

every pitch… every foul ball
is a reason to attack his game
quietly the frail unshaven old man
finishes his glass of beer…
picks up his two quarters and a dime
and heads for the door

the bartender goes to the end of the bar
and now I sit… with a scotch and water
surrounded by empty barstools
with tables full of people…
and I’m not welcomed

finishing my drink
I leave a dollar on the bar
“see ya tomorrow, Jack”
and the crowd relaxes
as the door closes…
and I’m on the outside

but… I’ll be back
14 Years
This poem was born in 2011 and after rereading it for the first time in many years it still gives me chills... so many bad memories...
memories filled with regret and shame.
Another Barstool