- The cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such as sight,
and the fork wanted to run away with the spoon. That’s how it goes. It’s
all very realistic, I know, but when you’re in Sambo’s after work for
coffee and apple pie, and a drunk on downers comes in, and sits down beside you,
it’s kinda hard to think of what to write.
- “Hello, Ma, let me have a spot of caffeine.” She pours,
while he mumbles something to her. She asks, “What?” in an accusing tone
of voice, and he says, “Nothing.” “OK; just make sure it was nothing.”
“Yeh, I was just talking to myself.” He starts grumbling and whining in
a low voice. Laughing under his breath. Rolling a Top. Lighting it.
He faces me his fighter’s mug, long hair. Finally, he leans over and says
- “Hey, buddy. You wanna buy some pills?”
- “Me?” I say. “Pills?”
- He looks confused. “Did I just ask you out there?”
- “No, you never asked me.”
- “Listen. I need a dime. I need a dime to buy a can of beer.”
- “You can’t buy a can of beer for a dime,” I say. He looks at me,
his head down. I tell him I don’t want no pills.
- “You don’t want no pills?” Pause. “Listen.
All I got is” (he reaches into his pocket and pulls out 4 pennies. Shows them to me.
- “What do you need a beer for?” He just looks at me. I ask,
“How are you paying for that coffee?”
- From a dead start, he says, “Oh, I got money for that in my other
- “Good. Then use that to pay for the beer.”
- He gets up, and heads for the men’s room, baggy pants, with plastic
pill bottles rattling in his pockets as he rubs the door open.
- He comes back. “Shit,” etcetera, mumbling. He leans over
again. “What’s your name, buddy?”
- “What do you want to know my name for?”
- “I don’t want to know your name. I’m just
trying to be friendly.”
- “I’m not here to be friendly. I got this letter to write.”
I point to this letter.
- “You writing a letter to your girl?”
- I nod. Why not. He leans back, and commences to make more low gutteral
noises: clearing his throat, groaning, etcetera.
- Pretty soon, and older bum, gray, grisly beard, comes in. My friend
calls him over, calls him Frank. They start talking. He asks Frank for
the 5 dollars Frank owes him. Frank doesn’t have it. Frank orders
- As I was saying, it’s all very realistic, but pretty soon, it’ll be
midnight, and you know what happens at midnight . . .
- The waitress tells the couple of cops who walked in 10 minutes ago,
when they try to order, “We’re closed. We closed 5 minutes ago.” They get
on their walkie-talkie as I get ready to go. There are coffee grounds in
the bottom of my cup. The phone rings, and the waitress answers it.