Tater Tots

How many times can I tell the same drunk story?

I waste the same money.  Drink the same whiskey.  Ride the same dirty bar stool.  I see the same ugly faces.  I hear the same ugly stories.  That fuckin’ guy.  The poor bastard.

Debt.  Divorce.  Some epic game of pool.  The chick behind the bar.

Tits out to here . . .

I meet the same characters in a thousand different joints.  They smell like gasoline and cancer.  They’re all as broken as they look.  I forget the names.  I wake up with the same hangover.

Why do I keep doing this to myself?

I do it because being in a bar by myself is the closest I come to the man wish I could be.  Quiet.  When no one has my back, I choose my words carefully.  I sit and mind my own fucking business.  I afford strangers a level of courtesy I don’t even give my own friends.

When I’m sitting in a bar with strangers, there are no expectations.  I have no history with those people.  No baggage.  I can lean on my elbows and listen to the jukebox and no one knows if I’m too hammered to speak, or just brooding.  No one cares.  To them I’m just another story.  All they know about me is my taste in music.

“Who sings this?”

And I already know how it’s all going to read.  I know the cherries rotting slowly in the fruit bin.  I know the dirty rag hanging on the washing station sink.  I know the thousand-yard stare of a bartender an hour ’til close.  I know that stripper isn’t gonna fuck me, even though she’s got my shirt half-off, pawing for a look at my tattoos.

She gets her dollar and I and order another beer.

Somehow I’m getting off on the fact that none of them care.  They don’t need a dozen shots to forget me.  I’m just an object to them.  A customer.  An idea.  A tip.

. . . And it’s easy.

Wide is the gate, and broad the road.  All paved with good intentions.  Too hard to stagger on the straight ‘n narrow.

2 thoughts on “Tater Tots

  1. Something I could never understand about guys who share this philosophy (you, Bukowski, etc.)-don’t you get bored? I mean, you can do a lot better-you have that gift.

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