It Takes A Boy To Live
Posted on February 14, 2013
To which Johnny slurred out ‘Let me guess, one’s women, the other’s booze.’
‘Not at alls in that order Johnny, but you guessed right-as-hell indeed!’
‘Well man,’ Johnny says drunkenly, ‘guess we’re made of the same breed.
Flocks of a feather or somethin’ my old lady Brimm used to say,
I say ‘used’ of course cause now she’s sent me on my way.
So these past nights I’ve been haunting bars on this here street,
Lookin’ for liquid answers and a free hot meal to eat.
I started back on Tuesday at ‘Handlebars n Hogs’
And got the kick around 2am after sixteen salty dogs.
Man, I tell ya truthfully, I was glad to leave that joint,
When salty dogs are all they mix, really what’s the point?
Across the street from Hogs was a place called ‘Ceaser’s Woods’,
Bein’ an after hours joint, it was filled with all types a hoodz.
Mostly old Puerto Ricans drinkin’ watered down Cocquitos,
And some big-ass Jamaicans mowin’ down on beef burritos.
But, I tell ya, craziest of all was the group of Rotary geasers,
With their pins n flags n silly hats along the bar at Ceaser’s.
One-a them there, with a face like a shoe, and his back all in a hunch,
Says ‘Boy, no broken heart in this world is stronger than a Planter’s Punch.’
So I ordered a round for me and the boys as we decided on some pool,
But as we got up after the punch, we all of us fell off our stools.
And layin’ there on Ceaser’s floor feelin’ the dirt and the grime,
Ceaser himself came over top of us and says ‘Okay old boys! It’s time!’
Within 20 hot minutes we were back at the house of Rotary Dick,
All sipping on Pimm’s Cups and downin’ them far too quick.
‘If God wanted us to take our booze in slow,’ says old Stan,
‘He’d a done right by all of us to make it thick as jam.’
‘Sounds like one helluva Tuesday, Johnny,’ says the man with the tattoos.
‘Seems both our cups is empty now, so it seems about time we choose,
Another drink for our drinking. May I suggest a Texas Vex?
Cause’ I ain’t goin’ nowhere hear till I find out what happens next.’
‘Well, standin’ on 5th with my puke in a bag is the next thing I recall,’
Says Johnny as he drank his Vex and slurred his southern drawl.
‘But what any drunkard knows for sure is that a glass of bathtub hooch,
Is by far n long the very best kind of hair for last night’s pooch.
So me n my bag strolled into this place but it’s name escapes me now.
But it reminded me of that joint on 16th called The Sacred Cow.
It was middle o’ the day and bright as hell inside, all the dust in plain view.
And I seen the barkeep makin’ his sign which said ‘Special: Caribou Lou.
After huntin’ down more Caribou than I could care to remember,
That barkeep says ‘Fella, what’s your deal?’ from behind his smoke n ember.
‘Every time I been junked there’s one thing I keep in my mind,
And that’s the best broad for you is the one you’ve yet to find!’
And in a way his bar top sermon hit a chord with me,
So I says ‘Pal, you’re right! Two more! In fact, make it three!’
That dusty world of a daylight bar began to twirl and spin,
Maybe cause after those three Lou’s, I guzzl’d a mick of gin.
Whatever’s the reason, I stumbled out to get myself some air,
And noticed a local watering hole nearby called ‘Our Lord’s Prayer’.
Well, I tell ya man, this sure was a different kinda place,
With everybody sittin’ in rows wearing their somber face.
But, I was a thirsty, so I strolled past the rows and rows of pine,
And found myself on a special platform with free goblets of wine.
I drank and drank and drank some more and thought what’s with this crowd,
As they mumbled random nothings with their somber heads a-bowed.
When the wine was done and the crackers ate, I asked the fella for more,
But he just blew some candles out and pointed toward the door.
As I walked toward a fountain-thingy, I realized then what he meant,
My lips were red with wine, so a bathin’ I underwent.’
‘Johnny my man, don’t you realize that was no local joint?
That was a chapel you drunk son-of-a-bitch, your stories never disappoint!’
‘Well, that explains why their bathroom stalls didn’t have no god damn urinal,
Cause I guess, lookin’ back, I was pissin’ in a confessional.’
‘Hot damn Johnny! Let’s have another. A boilermaker’ll do!
What kinda whiskey you feel? English? Who cares, we’ll have a few!’
“Hmmm, where are we in the story now? Wednesday night or so?
It’s all pretty hazy, man, but I can remember a bottle of Pernod.
Though how I got it or where I drank it is long but forgotten,
I can tell ya, when it mixed with the gin n wine it left me feelin’ rotten.
Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear, isn’t that what they say?
Or is it the other way around? What about wine? Who are ‘they’ anyway?
Well, I needed somethin’ to settle my tummy so I stumbled into ‘The Cleft Lip’,
And noticed pretty soon they specialized in absinthe n sugar drip.
‘Cubes n spoons n a bottle a green,’ I shouted at the barkeep.
‘I’ll have the best of the best of what you got so long as it’s cheap.’
This got the attention of a lotta folks all sippin’ on their trips,
And then the bar fell so damn silent all you could hear were their drips.
‘What’s the big deal with a guy on a budget?’ I says half to myself.
And then I saw the barkeep take my bottle off the shelf.
It may not have been the shiniest trophy gleamin’ behind that bar
But it sure was the craziest juice on my binge thus far.
After a cup or two I screamed out ‘Dammit, where’s my Green Fairy?’
And suddenly across the table from where I sat was the Virgin Mary.
‘What in the hell? This stuff must be cheap if all I get is you.’
She says ‘Can’t you comprehend Johnny, all your doings do accrue?
Some are good but most are bad and the scales of sin are true,
For in this life you are always judged, and for lives hitherto.
In Heaven, Johnny, you are born again and get to live life anew,
Who wouldn’t want such Utopia as this? Who’d say to this ‘Adieu’?’
‘Lady, I’m a broken heart and too far in the bag to make sense of you,
‘Even if I could,’ I says to her, ‘You should know that I’m a Jew!’
‘The next morning I woke up sober n naked behind this here spot,
Grabbed a dirty garbage bag for clothes and came in to order a shot.
Sat here all day like a lonely lump ringin’ up my thirsty cheque,
With sorts of thing’s like Pisco Sours, Sidecar’s and Triple Sec.
Forgettin’ all the while that with my clothes went all my cash,
And their sure weren’t any coins around me when I woke up in the trash.
So fella, for a broken heart you could do a guy a kindness,
And that’s help him on a Thursday night get drunk to the point of blindness.’
The tattooed man thought a sec while listenin’ to the tunes,
Then said to the Barkeep ‘We’ll have two Death In The Afternoons!’
He looked over at Johnny Mark wearing a greasy black garbage bag,
And said ‘On some things in this life, there is just no price tag.
A bar tab paid for a story told, to me it seems plenty fair!
It may take a boy to live, but it takes a man to admit he was there.’