For my birthday I wanted to get a burger & a beer and to roll up my sleeves carelessly to let the greasy juice slide down over my wrists and along my forearms to my elbows balancing here on the edge of this formica table and not to care; to drink the beer in gulps inelegant and unhurried cracking the bottle(s) down thoughtlessly once and again with a loud thwack on this same slippery surface saying, “that’s one, & that’s another; & there . . . & there . . . & there again.”
And just so to celebrate in this simplest of ways the passing of time, my time, its measure: what there’s been of it, and to get some sense of what’s left of it to me in the oniony drift of the air upwards into the salty gloom licking along the limits of what’s yet on offer—a piece perhaps of pie thickly wedged alongside a steaming mug of something black & strong like the darkness just beyond my reflection in the window where a mean swirl of windblown scraps of “might-have-beens” & “couldn’t-possibly-be’s” gutter crazily.
As from across the room the waitress is coming my way check-in-hand, a pretty girl, impossibly young & poised to ask the question that’s been wanting all the while, “Will there be anything else, sir? Anything at all?”