Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No. 84 (cont'd) & No. 85

Beer: No. 84, Krusovice Imperial Lager, No. 85, Rebel
Date: November 17th, 2009
Place: Gulu Gulu, Salem, MA

I find myself on the train, in a knee length black wool coat. In this way, I'm not much different from the other men on the 6:45 train to Newburyport.

The man beside me could have been me fifteen years before. Or sixty pounds earlier. Or less bald. He in his floor length black wool coat You like it? Thanks. No, mine's actually cotton. and wedding band and house in the suburbs with a wife and a dog and a commuter rail schedule committed to memory.

But this man isn't like me. He doesn't have a score to settle. Or he might. There might be a bookie waiting for him at the Monserrat stop. Smoking a cigarette. Waiting to give this man two options: a) pay up b) the dog gets it. The bookie would have started out well intentioned and he'd, too, wonder how he got into this situation when he'd studied business for two years but then life caught up and he had to make a living somehow and now the train is at the station and the me man gets up, queues in the aisle, disappears down the stairs.

I don't meet a bookie at the Salem stop. I descend from the train, tail between my wool No, they are really cotton lapels, and look for Glenn who is there to pick me up and collect on the wager I confidently made and soundly lost.

Clearing my debt, salvaging my name before my debtor, warms the cool air of the Czech beer bar, as we catch up on days past and talk of times ahead and even though I lost the bet, spending an evening with new friends over brews in Salem Town makes me realize how I really am the victor.

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