Saturday, October 10, 2020

Old Man in a Straw Hat

'Humidity?' he asked. 'Were you talking about humidity?'

'Yes' - I answered and knew I was in for it.

Oh - nothing to do with humidity -
but it was another lonely old man
in a bar - getting drunk - wanting to talk.

'I'm from Miami - I know humidity!'
Although he looked 80 -
he laughed like a giddy thirteen-year-old.
He told me about the Miami humidity -
I listened as long as I could - waiting for pause.
When I got my pause - I averted my eyes up
to the close captioned TV above the liquor bottles.

He took the hint and swiveled upon his barstool -
away from me.

'Is that Sordovsky?' - he asked -
pointing at a vodka bottle on the shelf behind the bartender.

'Yes - yes it is' - the bartender answered.
Her mistake. He launched into a fifteen minute lesson
on proper vodka distilling procedures.

He finished his third tall glass of beer and left
without saying goodbye - probably feeling defeated
in his quest to defeat loneliness.

The old should be wise enough to know
that loneliness can not be eradicated
through talking.

Originally published by The Rye Whiskey Review, March 7, 2020

Hugh Blanton is a truck loader who combs poems out of his hair during those times he can steal away from his employer's loading dock. He has appeared in Bottom Shelf Whiskey, The Dope Fiend Daily, Terror House Magazine and other places.