Snow dusts the treads of the Stone Rooster as I prepare to enter. Warm air and jazz music rush out into the cold night to greet me. I surrender the weight f my coat to a chair at a table full of people who I knew from years gone past. The music plays like we’re in a smokeless speak easy. Not that there ever was such a thing. Brass tones reverberate in my chest bone and the ice cubes in my glass shiver with ecstasy.
Applause like drum rolls echo out in smooth intervals and I think it’s a shame that the tables aren’t populated with ash rays and sophisticated women. I close my eyes for a moment and feel the music. I could have time traveled to the 1960’s bought a pack of lucky strikes from a vending machine, and ordered an old fashioned.
So I order an old fashioned and pretend that I’ve gone back in time.
Jameson, a plastic cup and jazz in the background. Frozen water leaking into the lifeblood in front of me.
The glass sweats, I do not. Carefully I pluck an ice cube from its poolmates and crush it between my teeth.
Lucifer is here, sitting over in the corner. Always has been always will be. Honestly, he shows up for the jazz.
I taste yesteryear on my breath. Nostalgia in a stale cigarette. Of things I’ve felt before, feel now, will feel.
Jamais Vu, and here I am at the beginning of it all. For the first time since I learned the necessary french.
But there I was, with an empty half liter glass before it all happened, and after it all ended.
You feel that moment. You know that? The big one? The big change, the sweeping motion of now, then, and never again?
But I never realized it. It swept over me from the top of a roof with a bottle of cheap whiskey in my hand.
Then again when I was sitting by the river chain smoking with a bottle of whiskey in my hand.
Once, long ago, when I was all cut up by barbed wire, standing atop a school with a bottle of cheap whiskey in my hand.
I would watch police cars drive by and sit in the shadows. I smile and wave, they can’t see me.
I couldn’t wait
to leave heartbreak in my wake
It was my mistake to be fake and for god’s sake
my intentions were so misplaced.
So someone give me a new slate.
It grew like a weed for me,
the thoughts I fought, my memories I forgot,
the stone, the brick and mid-morning mist.
God damn how much it’s all missed.
I haven’t been much like myself,
as self worth and mental health?
I’ve teetered on the brink of a fucking episode.
Whiskey and weed keep my emotions in control.
It think I see, that the key to being happy
doesn’t come in green,
in fact, it ain’t even Jack, no.
It’s that thump, thump, thump,
swallowing hard over a lump in your throat,
sweaty palms, and if that ain’t enough.
and it’s scary as hell
but for better or worse,
it should be worth while.
I looked around one day and realized that the world had gone to shit. In that moment I felt so at peace because for the first time ever, the inside matched the outside.