oh, shit! someone died—someone I love

I WAS SITTING AT THE BAR ALONE, sip­ping bourbon. It was the middle of Au­gust, so nor­mally I would be at my job with Luzerne County Roads & Bridges, patching pot­holes on the county road in Sweet Valley. But I had in­jured my­self and so had a week off to get better.

I was a healthy, able-bodied 26-years-old and I re­cov­ered quickly. So it was that I was sit­ting in Vispi’s waiting for my girl­friend Elaine to get off work and meet me here. It was a slow day and there were only a few other people in the place.

Gidget, the bar­tender, was Elaine’s best friend and when she wasn’t waiting on someone else, she was chat­ting with me. As I was also a bar­tender, we usu­ally swapped horror sto­ries about the things you see and hear from the other side of the bar.

Then the phone rang.

Gidget walked over to the phone, her back to me. I re­member that she held the phone to her left ear. She turned and looked at me.

“Oh, shit,” I thought. “It’s for me.”

She stared at me as she put the phone down.

“Someone died,” I thought. “Someone I know. Someone I love. But who? Who the hell even knows I’m here?”

Mom? Dad? Charles? Mary Alice? Elaine?

Everyone watched as Gidget walked over to me, her eyes locked on mine. She grabbed the Jack Daniel’s and quickly filled my glass.

“Oh, no,” I thought. “No, no, no.”

And she said, “Drink that.”

I drank it all down.

I put the glass down.

I looked up.

“Elvis just died . . .”

 

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I’m in the UK, so I was too young at 15 to be in a bar and be­cause of the time dif­fer­ence, I learnt of our friend’s passing on the 10 o’clock news and man was that a shock! 

I had been working Sat­urday jobs and helping out in a garage after school hours for two years, saving up to get over and catch a con­cert or two in Vegas the next year.

But best-laid plans of boys and mice …

Leigh

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