There’s no truth in happiness, he said. It’s a facade. It’s something that we think is there, but it’s not,the old man lit a cigarette. Did you know that truth can only get you so far? You don’t see me walking around all chipper, he took a shot of whisky. This, the old man pointed at his beer. This is a lie, he said. But, I believe in it, his son smiled.

The two of them sat there on barstools side by side. Occasionally they’d look up at the television in the corner of the bar. An old war movie was on; The Green Berets, starring John Wayne. They’d watch a little, then go back to ordering drinks and talking. The old man was a bar room philospher. The kid, a listener. The son was there only to hear what his father had to say. He figured he owed it to him. All the grief he put him through in his younger days. The boy sat there. Going round after round with the old man. Drinking in silence.

Do you hear the birds outside? the old man asked. Hear em? They’re the last of the dinosaurs. Hmm. Flying dinosaurs, he motioned for two more. Soon, they’ll be going south for the winter, the son nodded. I think about going south for the winter, he lit another Marlboro. Someplace warm; Florida, Tennessee, maybe Arkansas. Or, Texas. They have a different perception of life down there, he said. The son looked up at John Wayne, then back at his father. Dad slapped him on the cheek. Are you listening to me? I said they have a different perception. A different way of life. It’s easier down there. Not as much pressure, he put out his cigarette. Maybe Joplin, Missouri.

Would you take me with you? the son asked. The father shook his head. Took another drink from his short beer. Looked at the boy then up at the TV.

There’s no truth in happiness, the old man said. Nope. No truth.

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