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     “Crown and Coke”
 
 
She hadn’t really
planned
on having more
than one drink
maybe two,
she
just didn’t want
to head straight home,
she ordered a
“Crown and Coke”
took a small sip
to check the strength
of the bartenders pour
and she was
happy with it
strong enough
to cut through
the sweetness
of the coke,
she takes her straw
and pushes the cherry
that’s riding
on top of the ice
to the bottom
of the glass
not really sure
if her drink
even called for
a fruit garnish
she looks down
the bar
the middle aged
male bartender
is boring
the young waitress
with a story
as she waits
to get her
drink order filled
the waitress,
making a little
too much eye
contact
with an
obviously
married man
while his wife
texts the babysitter
to check on the kids
or at least
that’s who she said
she was texting,
a second waitress
is propped up
in the doorway
of the rear exit
smoking a cigarette
holding it
in her right hand
keeping it outside
the bar
while looking in
keeping an eye
on her tables
just turning her head
to the right
to take a drag
or blow out
her smoke.
She takes her
straw
and stirs the ice
around
in her drink
the cherry
still trapped
below four inches
of crushed ice,
she takes
another small
taster sip
the ice has melted
to the perfect
saturation point
of just the right mix
of
Crown
Coke
and
melted ice
knowing her drink
has a limited
half-life
before the melting
ice
over takes the
Crown
and turns it into
just a watery Coke
she takes two long
measured pulls
on her straw
the level of her drink
dropping to half
as the waitress
in the doorway
flicks her cigarette
as far away
as she can
one of her tables
in need of a
another round
of drinks,
the married man’s wife
notices her husband’s
eyes
haven’t been
noticing her
and follows them
to the waitress
who quickly turns
and gives the bartender
a lot of unexpected
attention
he miss interprets this
as being due to
a well told story
and starts into
another one,
while her waitress
is trying to judge
if she is a
one drink
and gone
or two drink
and more
type of girl
decides to
come over
guessing
that by the
relaxed way
she is sitting
she’s good for
at least one
more drink,
she gives her
waitress
a little nod
before she
gets their
who then promptly
turns around
and goes back
to the bar,
returning
she drops down
a new cocktail napkin
and sets her
second drink on it
before heading off
to another table,
she takes her straw
stirs the ice
then pushes
the cherry
to the bottom
of the glass
and returns to
watching the scene,
waiting for
the ice to melt
to just the right
consistency
before taking
her next
drink…
 
     Tom Allen…08-27-2017…