Trying Not To Think
Author: Shiloh


The neon sign above the tavern door buzzed and flickered in the late night hours while a lone figure walks just on the edge of the eerie glow of the neon.

In the distance, a police siren wails like a lonely wolf serenading his lost love.


Entering the tavern, a twangy voice from the juke box was singing something about
"windshield wipers a-clappin' time" ... and a sleepy bartender with a glorious beer belly and a handle bar mustache to match was wiping the bar down with an old and tattered grey bar rag.

There is a couple seated at a corner table, her hand is below the table and out of sight

In the back two young men were shooting pool on a scaled down table. a third fellow with a bottle of beer was sitting on a tall stool sort of overseeing the game
The click click sound of the pool balls could be heard during a change of records playing on the jukebox.

A few others were seated at the bar, including a fellow in a rumpled suit, his tie untied and collar button open
he was intently studying what looked like a scratch sheet.

And two older gents at the far end of the bar had a forty something lady booked-ended between them.

The backbar was typical of your neighborhood bar. A few dusty bowling and baseball trophies. Bottles with varying amounts of amber and clear liquids waiting to be poured into glasses
and served to Dreamers, Poets, Artists and lost souls.

I have been there, down at the far end of the bar, nursing a beer and trying not to think too much... 'cause thinking leads to remembering, and memories bring back the reasons for the tears that I'm holding back, and - and I realize that there is no more "and," no more "tomorrow," no more "maybe," and no chance of a "what if" at all. It's all over, except for acceptance, and though I know it is inevitable, I don't want to start crying right now, right here. Someone would come over and try to console me, and I do not want anyone's pity, anyone's attempt at making me feel better, or anyone, God forbid, trying to tell me they know how I feel. How could they? They can't. So to forestall any of that, I will finish my beer, leave a buck on the bar and leave, and I notice, with a bit of relief, that it's raining out there, fairly heavily, which will be a good thing as I walk somewhere in the darkness, trying not to think....


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