Ghost From An Old Haunt

 

Written by George Gad Economou

 

the old boozehound would always come at 11am;

never a minute too early or late.

 

Jim, the bartender, would pour his draft beer and I’d

greet him with a half-hearted raise of my glass of bourbon.

 

for two years, we were the sole morning occupants of the bar,

had hardly ever talked.

 

the old boozehound would drink till 5, then, off

he’d go after 15-16 beers.

 

by that time, more had flocked the place

no one said goodbye to the old timer.

 

by 5, college students came in for a cheap beer,

signaling the beginning of the hunt.

 

the mornings were reserved for bourbon, and a few beers,

to eviscerate the harrowing thoughts and memories

of dead love, of a life that could have been.

 

one morning, nursing my second bourbon,

I realized the old boozehound hadn’t come.

 

half an hour late, Jim and I exchanged a brief worried look.

then, we returned to our routines, thinking he’s sick

or broke.

 

he never showed up again; he had died peacefully in his sleep,

leaving behind a wife and three kids. a great big mansion in the suburbs,

two cars, a successful business.

 

the man who seemingly had it all

was one of us; one of the barflies drinking his days away.

 

a silent, half-hearted hoist of the glass

to the skies, to the man whose name I never learned.

 

Text © George Gad Economou

 

 

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