he has a group of them around him
and he’s standing behind the bar
taking our money
putting it in a big wad
because he hasn’t opened the register yet.
there is music playing
it is something bad that jangles
it is the kind of music
that makes you drink
but he’s playing it because some
woman made the mix for him.
he’s smirking and telling
all of the guys huddled around
that he doesn’t know why
she made him this mix.
he says he doesn’t know
but he does.
the guys are listening intently
because he’s a big deal in this city
an original from an original scene
so when he plays something
then it must mean something
to listen to it.
now he’s an entrepreneur too.
they all wonder how he does it.
he gives me my beer as the one song ends
and the next one begins
i recognize the guitar.
he asks the group of us who it is.
no one knows
although these are learned music men.
i tell them it’s the smiths
and he looks at me and says
wow, that guy just said loads
about his manhood right now.
no one says anything.
they don’t know how to take the comment.
they just don’t know.
but i do because i hate
the fucking smiths.
i look at the guy and i wink
because this is a family function
and i’m powerless to do anything else.
i take a sip of my beer and walk back
into the next room
while they keep on about music
someone asks me to take their picture
and in doing so
i spill the pint of beer all over our guy’s
aged wooden floor.
it looks like an accident.
maybe it is.
and it happens right about the time
that the smith’s song ends
and one comes on by a band called