A Whiskey Drinking Man

slipping away

Push a narrow slice of sidepork around the skillet with a fork, then drown it with an egg. Cup of Jim Beam coffee, heavy on the Beam. The sizzle and the pop, the grease jumps up, the Beam jumps down and it’s the all-American, how-do-you-do breakfast, every morning, pal. Wake up and slap your face with water and cologne, and let the day open up. Radio in the background, something low, something slow, something from a time when jazz houses were busting open and the gin stayed cold in the glass.
Every morning the same; same dull antidote for the night before. Shaky hands wash away the sleep, the tiredness, but not the grime hiding behind the eyes and underneath the skin. Arms calcified, shoulders hard as planks. A hard night in the Round Table, shuffling goons and serving the dollies, some of them lonely, most of them bored, wanting to break up , break in, or just break clean. The same nickel movies and the same greasy dives, no night life, no flash, just the same over-and-over. The night blurs like a shaggy curtain, and the bed, a dirty cluster of unwashed socks and unclaimed brassieres, leftovers from another damaged night.