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The Unvisible Man

This particular call of the wild is eventually answered by all men, but none more so than suddenly single men. Tonight’s call was simple, “I am hungry.”

I walked into the place known for their famous BBQ. The hostess offered to seat me at a table, but the bar caught my eye. I picked my spot, a place that offered a view of the same baseball game on three giant televisions. It’s Monday, not many games to pick from. Tonight’s game was the Yankees against the Tigers. Mercifully, my team had the night off. This season they should be lucky enough to have all their nights off. I ordered a drink.

There was a gaggle of five men across from me who ignored me from my first step into the bar. This was obviously their turf, and while they allowed visitors, they didn’t feel the need to welcome them.

While sipping my first drink, I observed the quintet from the corner of my eye, no need to make eye contact lest I upset a “native”.

My first impression was that between the five of them, there was at least one complete set of teeth.

They were speaking loudly as if granted full ownership of the bar. The topic of the evening was the “good old days” when women had pubic hair, how spreading it apart to find “it” was a game no longer enjoyed by the pubic conquistadors of today. “It” had been camouflaged. “It” had played hide-and-seek. “It” was better back then.

Behind me was a table with a woman in her forties with three girls in attendance, the oldest probably just starting high school in the fall. She paid no notice to the volume of the “it” topic, and I doubt anyone at her table knew what was being discussed. That didn’t stop it from disgusting me. I ordered another drink.

I had earned it.

This afternoon was another in a long string of events I promised my late wife I would attend to. I take pleasure in keeping my word, but it sometimes costs me greatly. Just two hours before walking amongst the toothless paramours of yesteryear, I had been interviewed on camera for a video about the hospice that assisted me so nobly in escorting my wife to her final breath.

I gave my most honest opinions in my most sincere eloquence. I had deeply considered what I was going to say, and I said it, some of it even with dry eyes. I defined hospice in my most profound and most personal of ways. I tried to share the angst about my decision with those who are further behind me on their ultimate paths.

I told the truth to the best of my abilities, however, my experience has been that these truths come with aftershocks, and tonight was no exception. I tried to center myself on the insignificant details that surrounded me, but my soul was insistent on staying amongst the larger truths that now defined my life. I am no longer musician, photographer, or writer. I gave those up long ago to be a caregiver. Now that she has passed, and I am no longer a caregiver, I struggle every morning to decide who I am, and this afternoon’s interview only increased my indecision.

At 54, I am too old to start over, and too young to quit, but who the hell am I?

Meanwhile, while I contemplated this all deeply inside myself, one of the toothless ones left to use the men’s room. This act did solidify my opinion that it took all five to make up a complete set of teeth. We were showing progress.

My reverie was broken by two young girls who entered giggling, as if they had found the secret to free drinks all night, and ironically they were at least partially right.

Karma dictated that they sat next to me in the only seats left at the bar. Their giggling turned to full laughter as the bartender asked to see one girl’s ID to make sure she was of age, which was precisely what she wanted. Today was her 21st birthday, her first day of legally drinking in California. If there was ever an occasion for a drink, this was it.

Being that I was a bit morose, I signaled the other bartended for another drink and that I would pay for the birthday girl’s drink and her friend’s. You see, when I am down, I enjoy doing something good for someone else, as if it erases my deficit. In the end it doesn’t, but it beats doing nothing.

My bartender caught up with the other bartender and attempted to whisper in his ear, but he was anxious to serve the first of many drinks to this alcoholic “virgin.” He did not completely hear what my bartender said, and quickly turned and announced, “Ladies, your birthday drinks are on the house!”

The girls squealed as only young girls can and ran off to meet their friends at a table in the dining room. My bartender looked at me as if his wallet had been stolen. The other bartender had a grin on his face a Cheshire cat would be proud of. I, having already paid the bill for my dinner and “our” drinks, dismounted my bar stool and headed for home.

On the way, I decided to stop at my local supermarket to get a bottle of scotch. Scotch, in case you didn’t know, is God’s way of saying He loves us on nights like these.

While waiting my turn in the express check out lane, I happened to turn and notice a sparkling river of diamonds emitting from the left hands of all the married women behind me. When my turn came, my friendly cashier said in a voice loud enough to be heard around the world, “I hope you’re having dinner with this!”

I felt the eyes and jewels of all the women behind me concentrate on my back as I answered, “of course.”

Thus endeth another day in the life of the Unvisible Man.

 

 

 

One Response to “The Unvisible Man”

  1. Tambra says:

    I was with him throughout this blog – his words drew me right into the story. Good writing does that. This is good writing. I will be back!

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