The last time I was in this bar
everything I owned was in a backpack on the floor.
There were fights, loud music, cheap beer.
everyone was gritty and real.
The place seemed like a dump. Dirty, grimy, and smelly.
People smoked in the beer garden. A contact buzz.
I was grateful.
Women wrestling in Jello had made me fall in love with this city.
I drank until I could ride the bus all night on a pass
had to sleep somewhere.
I Didn’t want anyone to see me.
Didn’t want anyone to know me.
But it was my adventure.
To say that I made it, having been that low.
Prove to myself that I can do such things. Be the American Dream.
Pull myself up by the bootstraps, make something of myself.
I was so stupid then, but it was what I had, stupidity
What a bunch of shit that is, but I did it. Sort of.
Took years of sacrifice and suffering, hard work
But here I am, walking into that same bar again, alone.
Many of the same people are there, not much has changed
I meet everyone again as though they’d remember me
Looking back turns out to be more bitter than sweet
But sweet is something that sells me short
shuts me out of the good in life
Bitter is something better, more attractive, savory
Boredom in life is a waste and a tragedy.
Better to suffer and struggle, to live
I stand there drinking, enjoying the delicious raw music
There is another fight outside. Does not involve me. Not much does.
Guys are heartbroken that women don’t don’t like them
They miss the point entirely. It’s to their advantage.
No one notices my existence.
I hate the words last call. Can there be a bigger kill joy?
My eyes burn, my heart yells that after all these years
I still have nothing my heart would like
My guts react to the realization
I have to go home to that empty apartment
Going to be a long walk home. Being home punishes my soul.
At least all the beer I drank will help me fall asleep
Make the next day half conscious
I chug the last of my beer, choke back the shittiness
Things were a lot worse the last time.
Now they’re better, except where it seems to count most
I drag myself down the street
Tell my heart better none than bad.
Better this way, safer.
The street swallows me into nothingness.
Like I was never even there.
It’s as if the world cannot wait to erase evidence of my existence.
And not just on those streets or in that bar.
I am grateful.