I had a bar with a couple of lame brains. They didn’t always show up for ordering. They didn’t always show up for accounting meetings. But they never missed getting paid. Sometimes I’d bring the dog with me. Sometimes I’d carry kegs up the long flight of stairs to the top room bar. And when I’d get back to the dog, he’d have evacuated, laying down his opinion on the town, the people, and the partners. He wanted out. So we packed a truck and headed west. In Texas, the sky turned to a bruise, and the next day he yelled at goats. In Bakersfield, I kept looking for countrypolitans, but all we saw were slender toothless meth heads in Slipknot and Korn t shirts and ragged baggy jeans. The plateau of knotted loss abruptly sour in the expressionless sunken cheeks that went up and down the road in front of our motel. God damn was it good to be out of that circuit.
by Hank Cherry