Page 11

Soap and Water by Helen Chappell

It was one of those bars you probably wouldn’t go into on a dare, in one of those places you would have no reason to go. You probably know the kind of place I mean, where the beer is on tap and the decor is mostly pool tables and beer ads, what you can see of it in the darkness. In this kind of place its always three o’clock in the morning in some dark night of the soul, and the regulars like it that way. It doesn’t matter where it is. Let’s just say its a place known to outsiders mostly from the crime and accident reports in the local paper. This bar is what my father used to call a bucket of blood. My interview had told me to meet him at this dive, so I was there, wishing I wasn’t. The bartender evidently wished I wasn’t, either. He was the size of a house and kept a billy club by the register, which made me wonder what he kept under the counter, a missile launcher? Ignoring me for fifteen minutes didn’t work, even though the place was empty, so he finally gave me a draft. It was f lat, and my interview was already late. I knew he was going to be late because he was a waterman and this was one of those March days

that comes in like a lamb and goes out like a lion. By the time I got there, the wind was up and down the masthead and the rain was coming down in angry gray sheets. My choices were to sit in the dank, dark bar or sit in the dank, dark car, so I sat in the corner of the bar and made myself invisible, as any writer knows how to do. I was looking at my watch for the third time when the door banged open and the regulars started to file in, in ones and twos, getting off work and in from the water. The first one looked like a professional wrestler who had spent a bad night in the county detention center, and they went downhill from there. Guys with big ugly tattoos and greasy jeans and trucker wallets on chains, and 9

January 2014 ttimes web magazine  

January 2014 Tidewater Times

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you