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“Death of an Afternoon”

I sat in the darken corner,
Of another strip mall bar,
In the middle of the day.
Trying to kill the best part of a day off,
That fell in the middle of the week.
I didn't have anywhere to be,
No one to be with,
And was trying to make myself feel important,
By buying 20-year old whiskey,
From a waitress that wore way too much make-up,
And would never look good,
No matter how much I drank,
Or how dim the lights got.
I just stared out the tinted bar windows,
At the people as they walked by,
Knowing all their life's,
Were probably so much better than mine.
Every now and then I would look down,
And scribble something on a napkin,
As if I had thought of something important,
That had to be written down,
Right at that moment.
But it was an act.
I just wanted the waitress,
That I didn't care about,
To ask me about what I was doing,
So I could answer her with a reply,
That would make me look smart.
But she never asked,
And I never figured out what to say if she did.
I watched a shadow creep across my table,
As I pretended to be something I wasn't.
The waitress got my routine down,
In just two rounds.
I would almost finish my drink,
Put a napkin over the top of my glass,
Get up and go to the bathroom,
Come back sit down,
Take the napkin off and finish my drink,
Then push it an arm's length away from me.
As I try and get the waitress's attention for a refill.
A good waitress can pick up on these signals,
And know just when you needed a refill,
With just a simple nod from you.
So each time I got back from the bathroom,
She would come around with her tray and note pad,
And write down my drink order.
Which struck me as odd,
That she always wrote it down,
Even though my order never changed.
But we all like to stick to our routines,
No matter how small they maybe.
So she stuck to hers,
And I stuck to mine.
By now the shadow had covered my table.
It was only 3:31pm,
But people getting off work,
We're starting to filter in.
I knew it was time to leave.
So I got up,
Put on my sunglasses,
And headed for the door.
The waitress gave me a weak,
“Come again”
But I never do.
I'll find another strip mall with a bar,
To kill my afternoon in.
I opened the bar room door,
And stepped out into the light.
The warmth of the sun,
Trying to burn off,
The darkness of the bar.
“Today wasn't such a bad day”,
I said to myself,
As I made my way back home.

Tom Allen 12-18-2016