Mixed Drinks

by Paul Condrey

It was in Luckies Bar and Pool 47 miles east of my temporary place of residence over mixed drinks that I spoke with the old man they called Cortez that frequented the bar about life, lost loves, sorrow and the time that he swore he had been abducted by aliens as he slept in his bed. The stream of light shining through a slit in a window that had been covered with cardboard struck a line through the room that revealed years of untidy keeping only for a second before the specks floated on. Cortez said with great definition in his voice: "Ya see Wyatt, I myself am a rain dog, meaning dat, I ain't got no home, I'm lost and I can't find my way anymore. You see, when a dog gets caught out in a rainstorm for long enough, dat familiar smell of home gets all washed off of dem and da way dey came to be where dey at, and dey just can't never get back home." I nodded slowly and let my mind mow over what he had told me, a stranger in a bar that he was just drunk enough or didn't care enough not to pour his soul out about the fact that he no longer had firm grasp on his life and that he didn't even know what doorway or bench he would lay his head down on next. It was in this moment that it all became suddenly clear to me in my half drunken state; I too was a rain dog and I had found a man that I could call a friend in Cortez here in a shitty bar over mixed drinks, so far away from my closest relations who I'm sure were walking around, living their lovelorn, jilted lives like the dead that they are to me now, and like that place is to me now.

6S - C3

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