Leslie's Omnibus

Easy As A-B-C?

My dear pal Kat and I spent one evening at the Redhead Piano Bar playing a very challenging game. (And made more challenging by the consumption of many glasses of wine beforehand.)

How do you play? Simple. Any number of people from one to twenty-six can play. One person starts off a short story with a sentence beginning with the letter "A." The next person must begin their sentence with the letter "B," and so on. Here's our story:

After mouthing off, the ridiculous couple danced up a storm while I turned to satisfy my taste for something sweet.

Bittersweet liquor with coffee, I decided, would clear the sour taste of bad dancing and the worse behavior from my palate and my brain.

Clouded in the fury caused by the insensitive notions anyone in this crap shoot of a city can cause, I decided to effect and infect with the rash attitude dad gave me.

Dad - now there was a no bullshit rock 'n roller of a guy with no time for people with puffed up pretensions, no sense of rhythm and tin-plated ears.

Energized by the youth he dated, retired and spitting fire, he ranted and raved the premonitions of what dawn could bring between spitting Jack and tobacco onto the pavement.

Fuck it, I thought, freed by the vision of my devil-may-care dad, I don't have to put up with this middle aged nightmare of a watering hole.

Good God though, how it changed pace from the drawer full of scotch, enjoyed amidst the ghost of Saturday night.

Inhaling a lung-full of second-hand smoke, I shook my spine loose and reached for that peaceful place that only complete strangers, good booze and better liquor made possible.

Jack's place had long since resided in my belly, but he always longed for the company of Jim, José and Johnny.

Keep it together girl, I muttered to myself and waved to the bartender for my check.

Long walks, they always did me right on rainy nights, giving way to think about where I was at - where I would be heading next and why I was doing the same thing I had been doing so many yesterdays before.

Nodding to the bartender as I dropped my cash on the bar, I shrugged on my weatherbeaten leather jacket and headed out the door into the heavy mist and rain-slicked street.

On the grit and grime, the garbage of a left-over city, I contemplated between X and Z, but why could never hold my attention the way it was payed to do.

Pity, pity, pity poor me who lives in the best city on earth and can't find a decent bar or interesting conversation on a late autumn Saturday night.

Quitting early, due to a lack of booze, funds and friends, I feel short-changed on life, I hear the fortune of future events but have nothing but today and yesterday to dwell on.

Reality sucks, though, and willed myself to play the game of "what if" and "why not" and "how would..."

Superstitiously, I threw salt over my left shoulder, tempting fate I followed with my right and consoled myself in the thought, "What if god believed one to be better than the next"?

Throwing salt led to throwing caution to the wind, as I turned into the first bar I found, no money in my pocket, determined to find out if I really could depend on the kindness of God and the kindness of strangers.

Unique thoughts for me, a dirt bag, a scoundrel; or, at least that's what she told me after hopping on her tab and running it up a good thirty dollars before she noticed.

Very slick, my mom, the user, abuser, needy, greedy, grasping drain on my wallet and my heart.

"Wanker" for short, I called her, hoping I could grasp onto an English accent.

"Xerxes Balls!" I muttered in my best clipped British slang.

"You filthy, filthy man", the woman shouted next to me on her way to the loo.

Zoo night, indeed, Saturday night brings out the ridiculous animals in all of us.
C'mon. Give it a try.

(And, yes -- we totally missed the letters "H" and "M." Oops. Blame it on the Pinot Noir.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This Texas boy has been to that bar. Spent more than a week in Chicago on the way to the Harley 100 yr birthday party in Milwauki in 2003. Great bar!

marcus, of on the patio