Notes From a Dive Bar XXXXI - Thinks


MAC thinks. He's in the smoking room around last call, hand on chin, thinking about how shit life is.

Does it help? I ask. Thinking, I haven't tried it.
No, he says. Don't bother. He pulls out a deck of cards and shows me a trick. Amazing! I can't think how he does it.

He sweeps the bar. I wipe the tables. Then grab the padlocks, lock the doors and think, how did I end up here? We walk around the street market at 3 a.m., under the hum of lampposts, thinking about what to do next. We share a flask of whisky. We think about the trans-sex workers selling on the corner, rumbling buns on their skyscraper platforms.

Some of them are beautiful, I say, thinking out loud, but MAC doesn't like to think about it. He's a Christian. He goes to the church's soup kitchen every day and dollops mashed potatoes on the plates for the famished in need of nourishment. Second helpings for the butter of salvation. MAC knows his Bible. And it leaves him sad for this life. He thinks about the next one, out loud.

Then, I'll live in a big house with a beautiful wife, he says. Night and day, those thoughts never rest. More whisky, more puddles in the brain. We walk to the pawn shop. MAC points to a ring in the window, behind steel bars. My wife will wear that on her finger, he says.

The sun comes up to chase us away. And we go home before we see people in offices rumbling profits in skyscraper platforms. Tricks never end, we think, but not too much.