It is afternoon. Approaching evening. I have a hundred bucks to my name. I’ll work some meaningless job for awhile and bring myself back to snuff. But, tonight I’ll spend most of the cash I have on a good meal and cocktails. It’s very American of me to do this. The philosophy of spend it all and start all over again runs rampant in our society. Businesses practice this, banks too. So do mom and pop stores. Our government, always spending then making more; a constant recession. And everyone wonders how inflation got so out of control; $3.49 for a dozen eggs. $19 for a Caesar salad at a restaurant; with anchovies. And, we buy it. Spending the last of our loot. Why should I be any different?
Henry’s is a bar and restaurant on Main Street. It’s been around since the ’50’s. Beautiful inside. Dark wood and a bar the length of a football field. Booths on the side for private conversations. Lights dimmed always; very little light. I go in and Wes is bartending. Nice guy. The son of missionaries. A true bartender. One who listens, is attentive, and knows every face that walks through the glass door.
I ask him what’s new? He tells me fishing stories. How he almost landed a big one. He’s always on the verge of landing the big one. Aren’t we all? He also tells me that Floyd the baker will be in later on tonight. Floyd the baker. A true genius. Could be the most well read guy I know. Never went to college. Lost his hearing years ago. Uses a high tech hearing aid for conversations. Still hums John Coltrane songs and talks of aliens taking over the planet. Says, there’s always somebody taking over something. It’s cyclical. They take over then we take over. But, now I think this time the aliens have us on the ropes, he said. How do you explain cell phones? He asked me once. Aliens, he said. We couldn’ t come up with this shit. Never in a million years, he said. And, I believe him.
Looking at the menu it’s the same thing. Only the prices have gone up. $14 for a cheeseburger. $19 for fish and chips. $23 for some kind of Cajun pasta. I object to the Cajun pasta. Italians and Cajuns should never mix their recipes. Keep the Italians Italain and the Cajuns Cajun. Fusion food. You know who doesn’t do fusion? Mexicans. They stick to thousand year old recipes. They don’t mix it up.
I splurge and order the fish and chips along with a cheap beer. This is my night to celebrate. Celebrate that tomorrow I’ll be starting over again. Always starting over. A true American.