Notes From A Dive Bar - Going Down


The dumpster diver surfaces. His hand clasps a small golden harp. He's no angel. His wings fly as high as a kite. I'm hurtin', man, he says. Can you give me two?

Two bucks for junk.

Behind the bar, the dumpster diver's treasures are growing. A book in French, NO EXIT by Jean Paul Sartre. Fur-rimmed handcuffs. A message sealed in a souvenir bottle. A jigsaw puzzle with pieces missing. An hour later he is back. The smell of abandoned things.

I played in a heavy metal band, he says, but they stole my guitar. I've been living rough since then. I dive deep. I can stay under culture's trash longer than any other. He hands me the collected works of William Shakespeare. Two bucks for Hamlet and Lear, he says. To be or not to be...

All is not well in the State of Denmark. Mop and bucket in my hand. On the trail of someone's stomach expelled across the filthy bar floor. Couldn't he wait until he got to the street? It looks like Guinness mixed with Bailey's cream, the car bomb, the twisted wreckage of a drunken man. Reckless drinking kills. Dive six feet down.