The reason I haven't written anything (except an email to Hawk) in the last month or four is because I gave up writing, again. I'm reminded of my old friend Danny, who would say every Friday before we started drinking, “I ain't gonna do it no more.”
Writing has been like a drug to me, both an intoxicant and a stress reliever. My old Paxil diaries, I believe, did more for my mood than the Paxil itself. But it seems wherever I write, people find it and it starts all over again, no matter where I put it.
What got me off the “no more writing” wagon? I have to gloat.
Duffy's Pub was right down the street from my old beloved house. Losing that house last year hurt more than losing my marriage, I think. Of course, I was going through withdrawal from Paxil when they took the house, and on Paxil shortly after Evil-X left. Some people commit suicide during Paxil withdrawal. I just cried like a toddler who had dropped his ice cream cone.
So anyway, Duffy's banker foreclosed on his pub's mortgage and the place closed down a week after I moved. “Damn,” I said to myself, “I must be drinking too much.”
I hated to see Duffy's close, mostly because it was so hilarious to see Duffy's truck parked outside. The sign on the bar said “Duffy's Pub”. The sign on the back of the pickup truck said “Duffy's Sewer and Excavating.” God but I wish I'd taken a picture!
It opened up under a new owner, who wasn't much of a businessman. I dropped by once, bought a draft, and put a dollar in the jukebox, one of those newfangled internet connected ones. I was unhappy; these new jukeboxes only give two songs for a buck, as opposed to the “normal” (these days) three songs.
I only got one song! I complained to the owner. “Oh,” he said, “if you get a song off of the internet it costs a dollar.”
“WHAT?!?!?” I demanded. “That's CRAP! Two for a dollar is bad enough, I feel like I've been stolen from.”
The guy shrugged. “Fuck you and your shitty bar,” I said, and left. A month later the sign proclaimed a new owner as I drove by, so I went in. I was pleased to see the damned internet jukebox gone and a real jukebox, one with CDs and three songs for a buck back.
I was even happier to find out that I knew the owner, who I often drank with there when it was Duffy's, and that I knew the bartender, an attractive woman my age. Well, attractive for a woman my age, anyway. It's only a mile or so from my house, so if I get drunk I can always walk, and if I'm too drunk to stagger I can afford a cab.
The drinks are cheaper than anybody else, there's food (good food too). And there was free food on Sundays (alas, no more). Well, sloppy joes count as food, don't they? That's all they have on Sundays. Beats the Track Shack, who has “all you can eat for a dollar” hot dogs and greasy chili on Sundays.
So I finish my sandwich and first beer, and an old lady sits down next to me. A delightful old woman of 83, as she happily bragged, who had been married longer than I've been breathing. “So where's the old man?” I asked. “Ah, he's no fun, I left the old bastard at home.”
As she starts on her second glass of wine (pay attention, kids, if you want to live a long time) a thirtyish looking guy with crazy looking gray eyes sits down on the other side of her and starts talking politics. He's a Bush supporter, a neocon.
A nut job.
Being 83, the old woman was certainly benefiting from Social Security, Medicare, and all the other perks geezers get that they have paid for all their lives. She didn't take too kindly to this young whippersnapper who wanted to take away the Social Security she paid into for so many years.
Here's a hint for you Republicans: Old people vote. I smell a Democrat Congress next election, as the Republicans have really pissed off the old folks.
I made it a two on one fight. What a prick, taking on an old lady like that. He was talking about how his voice was weird like that from his war wounds, and I was thinking about a schizophrenic I used to know who thought he was shot down in Vietnam, despite the fact that he was only 13 when the war ended.
“I've earned the right to...”
“Look, buddy,” I told him, “I VOLUNTEERED for the service during the most unpopular war in our history, despite the fact that I was NOT going to be drafted. So you can just shut the fuck up about being dumb enough to hurt yourself. Bush is a traitor. I think he orchestrated 9-11. The Bin Laden family is good friends with the Bush family, and the only one who benefited from 9-11 was Bush himself. He should be impeached, tried, convicted, and put in front of a firing squad and shot.”
The old lady giggled. “Thanks, son, you made my day,” and paid and left. “Mister Special Forces” sat there with his jaw hanging. I finished my beer and left as well.
I dropped back in the next Sunday (I wrote this quite a while ago, am only now posting it) for my sloppy joe, and my bartender friend was on my side of the bar. “Boy that guy was an asshole,” she said. “If he comes back in when I'm bartending I'm not serving him.”
Shortly after she left, Mr Special came in and started bitching about taxes.
“Taxes? That's damned unpatriotic!” I said.
“Where the hell do you think the armor on those Humvees in Iraq comes from?”
“Uh, er, well, I don't mind my taxes going for armor, but I don't like seeing it go to those big salaries the politicians get.”
“What the FUCK are you talking about?” I said. “Bush is the highest paid politician in Government.”
“Well yeah,” he said, “four hundred thousand dollars a year, for what?”
“For leading the most powerful nation on Earth,” I answered, “when the CEO of any fortune 500 company gets four hundred million a year.”
His face went white, and he left. Everybody started buying me drinks, and I got wasted.
I never saw the guy again.
I ain't gonna do it no more. Write, I mean.
I'm dreaming of a secular Christmas