I was drinking slowly at a loser bar named the One Lucky. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a guy sitting alone at a distant table, his body hunched over a bottle of bourbon like his whole life was in pain.
I asked the barkeeper 'Beer Mugs' Moran who the cat was. He said, "His name is Ben and he comes in sometimes, but not too often. He fought in 'Nam. He doesn't talk much, but when he does he's okay. Just don't mention the war. Otherwise his memories bleed into his soul. Then afterwards I gotta clean up the bloody mess."
I'd seen guys like him before. Like 'Beer Mugs's' lost brother. I think his name was Ben, too.
Poetry Pantry #351
8 hours ago