Notes From a Dive Bar XXXXVII - The Body of the Bar


Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco. George left his liver.

His brother came in looking for it. George is in the hospital bright yellow, jaundiced. I look under the tables for a purple puss filled organ but to no avail although I do find a quarter with George Washington's face on it, and put it in my pocket.

George of the liver failure imagined a bottle of liquor as a metaphor for the pursuit of happiness. He would approve Jack Daniel and Jim Beam being added to Mount Rushmore. With Colonel Sanders.

How is he? I ask his brother.
Not good, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, high on morphine. His liver is fried.
That's sad, I say, pouring him a water. He's from Ohio.
There is evil in liquor, he says.
I show him Jack Daniel on the bottle's label. He recoils.
He's doesn't look evil, I say, he's just a guy with a bushy beard and a stetson who liked a plate of beans with his corn.
But it's hard to convince the water bearers.
How often was my brother in here? he asks.
Every night, I say. Every night, pursuing happiness.

The whole dive is full of body parts going haywire. Pat lost heart when he walked into a glass door, the plastic surgeon bill ran to thousands, so he put down the wine bottle and gave up caring. Sammy has been legless for six months, his stool wobbly (and watery), he falls off and cracks his head. Tommy wants to get the finger out and find a job. Charlie swallowed two Viagara on six pints, his nuts ended up in the wrong sack, and his wife came after him with a blunt instrument.

The human body. No friend of the drinking brigades.