the next life…

he drove to the outskirts of town and parked it…an old Chevy amongst the pines…elms…and oaks where deer ran in the Fall…hoot owls questioned…youngsters lost innocence…empty beer cans led to a patch of green down by the river…

turned off the engine and kept the radio on…Wichita Lineman by Jimmy Webb was playin’ on an A.M. station in Louisville…turned it up so nobody could hear him…always had that fear of bein’ caught…even when not a soul was ’round…

the old man hummed along as he sat in the mint green hood of the car…lightin’ an Old Gold with a brass Zippo lighter…made a sound when he flipped it open and closed it…puttin’ out the flame…suckin’ in nicotine and night air…felt the crease in his John Deere hat…continued singin’ along…

a silver flask was pulled from the inside pocket of a black leather jacket…took a quick shot of old rye…thought ’bout when he was younger…not a boy…nor a man…somewhere in between…takin’ girls to this very spot and drinkin’ cans of Schlitz and pops of schnapps…and by the end of the night they’d wind up pukin’ their guts out…kisses of salt and sweat…

and he remembered those days while Gordon Lightfoot sang ’bout a ship goin’ down and the loss of life…it was a November night…just ‘fore Winter…he thought of those days…thought of better times…times when he was indestructible…nothin’ could hit him or harm him…

those days went by quick…too quick…felt he got cheated out of somethin’…the whole deal was unfair…wanted to start all over and do it again…those were his wishes…

so…he took a drag off the cigarette…threw back a shot…and moved on to the next life…

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