Friday, March 26, 2021

I Miss Friday Nights by Joe Taylor

The anticipation, blaring my music, my drinking songs, driving to the bar, a cigar unlit, at the ready to light up, as I will, tasting already the drafts, icy cold in my parched imagination, the work week, the woe week in my rear view mirror.

The neon, beckoning me inside, but that side, the "Bar", not the "Restaurant" side. Families, old ladies, men who've lost the taste dine there. No, I want more than fuel for my gut. I crave the magic elixir, to be chugged, gulped, sipped in the pursuit of the elusive.

There are slot machines there now, but Friday night bars have always been a game of chance. Who knows if the woman next to me will come home with me, or slap my face. Who knows if that dude I've been drinking with will, realizing I'm a Democrat, deck me? I drink and roll the dice.

The plan to drink and be gone by ten, to avoid cop cars goes the way of the best made plans. Only an hour, it seems after I entered the bar at 5:30, it's quarter of one, but the laughs are loud, the talk, cheap and good, I tell the barmaid I'll "have one more, then I really gotta go."

I must have gotten home ok. I wake up in my bed, not on a jailhouse bunk, not face down in a snow bank. There's no woman laying next to me. My jaw doesn't hurt and my teeth are intact. A couple of aspirin, two Tums melting slowing, I drift back into sleep. Smiling, thinking already of next Friday night.



Retired, after a lifetime in  radio, from on air to management, Joe Taylor has returned to his love of writing. He wrote and produced a number of national and regional award winning radio documentaries and feature series. He has previously published in Cracked Magazine, Ink Monkey Magazine, The Watershed Journal, The Tobeco Literary and Arts Journal, and The Rye Whiskey Review. He resides in rural northwestern Pennsylvania.


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