There's a bar I frequent downtown - no point in me mentioning the name. You know which one it is.
He's always there when I come in. The bartender told me once that he comes in for a late lunch, then stays and drinks beer.
He's older, always wears a hat and has sad eyes. He's always alone.
Sometimes when I’m drinking my vodka and tonics, I can hear him talking to himself.
We’ve had conversations in the past but he’s kind of hard to understand. Maybe that’s because of all the beer he’s drinking – I don’t know.
Sometimes he wants to talk to me and I’m not in the mood. I try to be polite to him when I’m that way.
He loves Johnny Cash. He’ll go to the jukebox and play “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” then “I Walk the Line,” always in that order.
When the sun starts to go down, it’s time for him to leave. He pays the bartender and leaves a little bit of a tip.
Someone told me he lives downtown alone. His wife died a few years ago.
He’s a lonely old man. Sometimes I wonder if that will be me.
- Larry Gross
(Photo from www.stevenmenke.com)