Photo by Jonas Jacobsson on Unsplash
Hey, Jimmy! Good to see ya. Grab a stool beside me, and I’ll buy ya a beer. I gotta tell ya about last night after ya left. Maggie, get Jimmy here a pint, will ya? On me. Thanks.
I tell ya, you thought you were drunk! Well, you know I can drink, right? Even through those times I told ya about. Remember when I was lookin’ in that store window, and I saw my reflection, and it was the face of some kinda demon. I swear it was Old Patch himself. I kept movin’ my head, thinkin’ somethin’ behind me was makin’ the picture, but no, it was me. I got closer to the window, and it turned into me again, so that was a relief, but man, that was weird. Yeah, another demon, I know, it’s a theme with me. And I ain’t even religious. Another pint for me, please, Maggie.
Well, that was nothin’ compared to last night. People were weird all night. We were watchin’ the game and it was really bad hockey, remember? And I said the league should get rid of five or six teams and disperse the players and the hockey’d be better. And Eldon said, and I don’t want to say the word he said ‘cause Maggie doesn’t like that kind of language, Eldon said, “Screw you and your socialism.” Well, what the hell does that have to do with socialism? Some people gotta buy a dictionary.
And some people, they can’t stay on a conversation. They take the last thing you say and go from there. I was talkin’ about Neville Chamberlain, and called him a lapdog. And then they started talkin’ about dogs! Never did get back to World War Two.
And that guy who said he was a scientist but didn’t know that water expanded when heated. Jeez, it was like a six-headed snake in here last night.
So everyone left, and I was here alone with Maggie. That’s right, isn’t it, Mag? Oh right, there were some people at that table over there.
So this guy comes in and sits down, right where you’re sittin’, matter of fact. Thanks, Mag. Don’t look at me like that. Lemme tell the story my way.
Anyway, so this guy comes in, and we start talkin’. Nice fella. Knows about hockey, knows about politics, movies, books, whisky. We had a right good yammer. A coupla times, Maggie told me to quiet down. More than a couple, Mag? Haha. Yeah, I guess it was more than a couple. And I’d certainly had more than a couple, so I guess I was talkin’ kinda loud, you know how it is when you’ve had a few. So, this guy, never did catch his name, and I, we kept talkin’, for a long time. Finally, Mag told me I had to leave. She was nice about it, weren’t you, Mag? A couple more pints here, please. On me. Thanks.
So I said to this guy, I have some great scotch at home, I live near here, do you want to try a great single malt? Thanks for the beers, Mag. Yeah, I’m gettin’ to the point of the story.
Anyway, we get back to my place, and the guy starts lookin’ at my books. And we were talking about books and writers. I was in the kitchen getting the scotch, and he was still lookin’ at the books. He’s really well-read. Knows all about Borchert and Lem and Borges and Machado de Assis and Tiptree and Southern.
And I was pourin’ the scotch and thinkin’ how weird it was to meet this guy, a really good guy, not a prick like Eldon or that yahoo scientist. Some people are still good people.
So I went back to the living room and he wasn’t there. I looked in the dining room. No. Looked in the sun room. No. And I thought, no, he’s not in my bedroom, is he? That’d be too weird. So I looked in there. He wasn’t there. But it was weird. The front door was still locked from the inside. So was the back door. So where was he?
And then it hit me. That guy was me. He’d never been there at all. And I figured out why Maggie had been tellin’ me to shut up. I’d been hallucinatin’ the guy. Pretty funny, right?
Jimmy, you want another? Mag, two more, please. Nah, don’t worry. I’m gonna have only six or eight tonight. I don’t wanna get in the state I was in last night. Maggie, you can confirm that’s Jimmy sittin’ there, right?
Bill’s stories, plays, and comedy sketches have been published and/or produced in Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Czechia, England, Guernsey, Holland, India, Ireland, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, and the U.S. His novel, “Farewell And Goodbye, My Maltese Sleep”, will be published in 2023 by Close To The Bone Publishing.
8/28/2022 04:47:42 pm
William (Bill) is a drinking buddy of mine. When we meet I ask him about his latest short story. So here we are on a new site. Great stuff!
8/28/2022 08:11:39 pm
Thanks, Bill, but I'm not convinced you're not a figment of my imagination. Have we ever met when neither of us are sober?
8/28/2022 08:14:17 pm
Or maybe you're Paul, who I don't know...
8/29/2022 11:17:58 am
It has been a long time since I was drinking with Bill, it might have been in Amsterdam when he left me lying on the sidewalk, or maybe it was the other way round
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