Tuesday, September 1, 2009


he commanded lighting bolts to strike me dead
an old long-haired man
who liked to come into the bar
around midnight
and joke around with everybody
he once said to me
between cigarette drags
as I was standing in the doorway
after having to refuse entry
to a group of drunk girls
celebrating a bachelorette party
“man, I don’t envy your job. People
come up to the door having fun
and then you have to tell them
they can’t have anymore fun.”
“almost,” I said. “I just have to tell them
they can’t have any fun in here.”

and so last night
another Friday night on the door
a man in his mid twenties
with long, sweat-soaked hair
came up and stood a little ways away
an earphone in one ear
the other dangling down his chest
music from his iPod
blasting loud enough for me to hear
ten feet away
while he grunted along with it
and finished a cigarette.
after he’d tucked the butt
into a Red Bull can on the sidewalk
he came up to the door
and looked at me through his glassy
bloodshot and wandering eyes.
he began to fumble for his ID
but I thought I’d save him some time
so I said, “sorry, man, but
you look like you’ve had too much
to come in here.”
he tried to focus his eyes at me
one earphone still blasting music
into his head
the other hanging by his shoulder
“what? what do you mean?”
“I mean I think you’ve had too much
to come in here.”
we went around a few times
as is customary with the drunks
or otherwise fucked up would-be patrons
him asking first if I was serious
then if I was joking.
after enough rounds
he stepped back
and said, “man, I’m a fuckin’ Nazi!
you better let me in there!”
I didn’t have time to say anything
before he raised his arms to the sky
and began to command lightning bolts
to come down from the sky and strike me dead
this went on for some time
and other people came up to the door
and gave me their IDs
along with nervous looks
as the Nazi began to speak
in some guttural, slurred German
I continued to greet new customers
and bid goodnight
to those that were leaving
while I kept an eye on him
standing a few feet away
when the lightning bolts
didn’t come down and strike me dead
he began to roar about the things
he’d do to me
the ways he’d kill me
if I kept refusing him entry
and so on
so during a slow moment
I removed my glasses and set them aside
assuming that a physical confrontation
was a great possibility
but just as soon as I had
he ceased his communion with the sky
wiped the sweat from his forehead
and put out his hand to me
saying, “whoa. wow, I’m sorry about that.
I’m just really fucked up right now. You have
a good night, okay?”
I shook his hand and he said, “peace.”
and then he walked off down the sidewalk
one earphone still blasting into his head

No comments: