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Irish Bar: a Hopscotch Ballad PDF E-mail
I swallowed like a graduate maudlin who auctioned off his degree on E-Bay and made my way to an “Irish Pub.”


The night began with a friend who wrung out his paint brush to be a regional manager for a Cable-TV Service Provider, in New York.  Now he can’t get off the sofa except to hit, shit and fumble his BlackBerry.  I had to fly all the way from Los Angeles to Queens to smash an empty bottle of whisky, labeled, “Paddy,” over his head, as he tried to mash my face in a pile of coke, which I rolled out of and got into a cab, alone; but not before he tossed $160 at me, and shouted, “Have a good time.  Casino will be waiting to tickle your balls when you get home.”  His dog, Casino, was staring at me, panting, with a horny look in his eyes and I had the scratch marks on my arm to prove that the little devil was in the mood.

The Holiday Cocktail Lounge was closed so I walked into Banjo Jim’s.  The band had packed up and gone home.  I was one of five left in the place: Doc Boggs, Freddie King, Lightning Hopkins, myself and a tired barmaid, wearing a red dress under her jeans and T-shirt.  Her smile was hidden by a slight, faint scent of hope.  We didn’t recognize each other as anything more than a drink and a money transaction.  Maybe I saw more in her than she saw in me, or maybe she didn’t give a shit, as she broke a bag of ice loose on the cooler making a kissing sound.

The cold echo of a bar-well didn’t say much of anything except, “There’s a hollow sweetness in loneliness.”  Her hair was weaved in a braid, and her down-cast gaze darkened her eyelids.  Her small, firm breasts begged for mother’s milk.  She pressed her lips revealing the depth of her thoughts and the tightness of her heart.  Rusted, antique tears dripped through her veins, watering seeds of…seeds of…

Awe Fuck!  I can’t even smoke a cigarette in this place!

New York: a city populated with cultivated loogie-hockers; where a trio sings, “If you need us, call us, or maybe we’ll just come over and spit in your face.”

The barmaid’s rusted tears stained an indefinite seed of another vanished love that took too long.  I asked for another drink as my arms burned from holding the fresh wonder of what it meant to be treated as I believed I wanted to be, only I had no idea what that felt like.

She informed me that the she would be closing at 3:00 a.m., but she was closed long before that.  At least that’s what I told myself, since I wasn’t clever enough to offer her what she wanted.

Need is easy to figure out and accomplish.  Want takes a delicate charm that has no want of its own.

How is it possible to listen to Doc Boggs without having my own bottle of whisky in front of me, a knife in pocket and a lit cigarette hanging from my mouth?

You could hold a cigarette in your mouth in New York, but you better not light it, or you’ll be arrested by the municipal chorus singing, “You make me feel like a disease I never asked for.”  But who the fuck ever directly asked for a disease? 

New York is inhabited with a bunch of slow-walking kids trying to rule the world,  and they think that they do.  Whereas, Los Angeles is populated with exhaust-hungry werewolves, practicing yoga, believing they’re a star.  New Yorkers are too unimpressed with the stars because they’re too preoccupied with the dimming lights of culture.  But it’s still the York of New and there is so much damn concrete that one can’t help but be breath taken, especially when the pollution will rip your lungs out whether you like it or not. 

So what difference does it make whether I smoke in an empty space with a lovely barmaid fifteen feet away and a jukebox, which is the only thing alive in this place?

This might be Banjo Jim’s but it sure as hell isn’t Jim’s Banjo.  But it is the nicest surprise I’ve had in a long time, so I’ll just hold my cigarette and have another drink.

I swallowed like a graduate maudlin who auctioned off his degree on E-Bay and made my way to an “Irish Pub.” 

The Spartans should have done the world a favor and cast us all down as blemished children. 

New York makes me want to wear a Dodger’s cap and make love to a cripple because she would be more honest than the rest of us.

A corner church with wrought-iron bars was closed, as was the bar next door named “Company,” so a drunk has no alternative but to piss in the shadows of the sanctuary. 

There’s a “Thirsty Scholar” popping up in every New England metropolis, because an Irish drunk sold the name and moved to Chico, California.  He was smart enough to bet a wide-point spread and cash in for a South American barmaid who gave him everything that he had been looking for in the basement while the music resounded bad taste.

I found an “Irish Pub” a couple-a-few blocks away and sat at the end of the bar, listening to a punk song that screamed the romance is dead so give it to me anyway.

A girl sat next to me, looking like the girl I feigned my virginity to.  She wore skin-tight, plaid shorts and a baby t-shirt that hugged her tits and tummy.  Not ordering a drink, she merely sat like a memory that could never go far until her mobile phone lit up and hustled her adorable Irish-Italian ass away.  Her effigy pounded the ponder of how it was that the Irish and Italians could have fucked each other so intensely that they spawned drunken children of loneliness who experience too much shame to whore themselves to the Kings and Queens in us all?

The goblins perched high above the city as a darling girl slid over, smiling into my boots, mouthing close into my ear, “I’ll be you’re Rock-N-Roll dream and cream your jeans into the gutter of my hopscotch court, you goddamn square.” 

I choked, wondering if this would take five years or five seconds and then answered my own question, “I’m playing with myself.”  She looked confused, which I took as a compliment.  She asked me if I’d ever write about her. 

“I already have,” I answered.   

She reached down between my legs, pondering, “Hmmm,” which I understood to be flattery, but I ignored her because I wasn’t dumb enough to give her what she needed, which merely meant that I was an idiot, because I could have gone to bed with this hot, young woman who probably wouldn’t mind squatting against the wrought iron bars of the Church and pissing on its black, steel rods.  But I couldn’t bring myself to be swirled and twirled by a pup.   Just as I thought she was done pounding her own ponders she said, “I’m looking for a healthier slob,” which I had heard before from the gods, only they never closed out my tab, fearing the shadow of the cross that loomed over the coliseum in my grey beard.

I missed the late train and Casino was anxiously waiting to tickle my balls.  As I traveled through the midtown tunnel with the window down, all I wanted was my cabbie, who looked like Ernest Borgnine in the movie Escape From New York, to look over his shoulder at me, with a broken enthusiastic smile, and excitedly announce, “Hey!  I got Snake Plisken in my cab.”

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