Devil’s Nest Cycle: Bartending in a Watering Hole

I’m waiting for someone to come in thru the wide open door. The sun shines piercing thru the room’s smoke.
Slow afternoon.
In the dark corner the endless chess match goes on. I’m waiting for someone to come in thru the wide open door.
At first I won’t see his face, just his silhouette. 
I’m waiting for someone. 
Until then I tolerate the man sprawled over the counter after his seventh glass of wine,
still no signs of drunkenness. 
His wife, twenty years younger, cheats on him. 
I wash the glasses while he insists that my headache is caused by want of men.
“Your hormones will go to your brains and will drive you crazy.” 
I have to tolerate him. The painkiller will kick in... 
Soon you’ll come thru the door! 
Maybe he’ll get drunk and shut up! Or run out of money.
Or his wife will descend and take him back. 
Soon you’ll come thru the door! 
The juke box will be on. 
The old Polish lady, still displaying girlish legs, will dance, imagining she is in the arms of her beloved Romanian revolutionary,
who beat her black and blue and is now in jail. 
She’ll tell us again how she met him: In the smoky café. 
They were both sad that morning and she asked him, “How are you?” and played the juke box and they danced, and she felt his body heat against her breasts and he smiled and said, “Perhaps we should spend some time together…” And she said, “Give me 14 minutes!” and she freshened up and they went to a motel and didn’t come out of it for an entire week. 
He then moved in and started beating her right away. 
It didn’t mater.
He was her wounded revolutionary, with a hero’s certificate attesting that he was shot in his butt. 
He sought refuge in America
He is all she has, besides Kristina, the scrawny cat that now has the flu. 
Soon you’ll come to me. 
Until then I’ll watch Kolea playing chess. 
I’ll laugh at his silly courtship, make him coffee after coffee, small, black, and hot, like he orders it. One teaspoon of sugar, sweet like me.
I’ll roll my eyes when he tells me he thinks about me when he goes to sleep: first, he imagines I’m on top, but I’m too heavy; then he imagines he’s on top, but he is too heavy too and it’s too much work anyway, so he goes to sleep.
I’ll laugh when he boasts how he tells women he has trouble finding the right one because he’s too big. And the women, curious, give it a try, then harp disappointed, “You said it’s big, but it’s not!” “Oh, well,” Kolea laughs with his toothless mouth and sings, Amore mio, una baccio su la bocca!
He was a seaman. Speaks seven languages.
One day he’ll go to Las Vegas and work in the casinos.
Yes, or pipe dreams… Soon, you’ll come thru the door.
You’ll ask me for a glass of wine. Or rum.
I’ll pour it, splashing the counter.
You’ll smile, ask for water, drink it, pierce me with your quiet eyes,
“You are not exactly a bartender, are you?”
You’ll know my dreams, my longing for you. 
You’ll place a $20 bill on the counter, dismiss the change with a “Thank you!”
and leave like the Marlboro man. 
The next day I’ll wait for you to come thru the door again. 
I fear you won’t and I’ll wait for you forever to come thru the door
while silly Kolea carries on playing chess and so on…

Love songs on the juke box will carry on…
On TV the world will carry on.

Well, here you have it: If you’d like to throw a bit of money my way to keep my endeavors going, and also enable me to spread the money to my various causes, witnessing democracy, freedom of speech and faith, and engineering social change thru art being one of them, I’d be grateful.

New York
June 28, 2013

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