Various things engage me now, for this
is in another life : I can stay up as late as I
please, and I do, caring little for daybreak
or dawn; I can go wherever I please, and I
mostly do and some I don't please too.
When I sit at Swift's Hibernian Lodge, I
can drink and talk to whomever I please,
all that 4th street traffic waltzing by - not
much, really, but enough. My friends, those
tough old Irish brutes, these days are younger
than me and all the old guys I used to know
have disappeared, taken that river to Hell and
Death that has no turns, and gives no veers.
'Straight, like my booze,' he says, Straight
on the line to hell.' And then he keels over.
'What's a night if not for something like that,'
I say. She comes over. God I can see right
through her shirt. She gets him up, and we
walk him out. 'Jeezus the fucker does this
now nearly every night.' Bernadette, this is,
her name. Wonderful gal. One day I thought
I was leaving her a five, and it was a twenty.
She's brightened whenever she sees me ever
since. Doesn't take much to be convinced.
But convinced is not convicted (I always say).