Walking, looking for work
I run across a small bar
that I hadn't noticed before.
Entering, gray light briefly
illuminates gray people,
tables and chairs
and a long bar
behind a short woman
gray too,
in her fifties I guess.
I take a stool and look behind me
at the three blue uniformed guys
thirteen brown bottles of beer
between them, ashtray overflowing
and turn back to catch my reflection
between bottles of Stoli and Jack
in the brown mirror in front of me.
They gray woman walks over and asks
"Whatcha havin' love?"
"A bad life," I reply.
"Shit, she says, " you ain't got nothin'
on anyone in here."
I smile and order,
gin and tonic, tall glass, two limes
and a rolling rock.
She pours from the well,
snaps off the cap and places my order
before me, spilling some.
"Sorry love, " she says and turns
back to the soaps on the TV.
A squat old man with a pipe
on my left turns to me
and growls some words.
"Sorry?" I say.
He lets out a thunderous cough
and speaks again.
"Ain't much on service
but mixes a hell of a drink."
I smile and nod, raising my drink
first to him
then to my lips
and before I put it down
half is gone.
Five minutes later
I order another round.
Work and the world can wait.
And as long as I have a drink,
so can hell.