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Matchbook

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Today was a rough day, one of those days where you still smelled like the day hours after you walked away, down the road, and into the nearest bar. After taking my jacket off, hanging it on the back of the bar stool, I decide a pony tail would probably lessen the smell and my reminder of the day, before pulling my hair back i wipe my hands on my jeans, they left a black smear. DAMN  


The bartender approached me while i still had my hands behind my head, I felt exposed, my shirt had come up with my arms revealing my midriff. I stared at him as he stared at me, neither of us making eye contact, eyes were not what either of us were interested in. He reminded me of a man I once loved, tall, dark, well put together body. Suddenly I realized he was speaking to me, "What'll it be Homeslice? Gin? Cocks?". I could NOT have heard that right, so i stammer out a "Wait...What?". What the hell is wrong with me i never stammer, he caught me off guard. "Gin or Scotch?" "Scotch...thanks"


I turn in the stool, scotch in hand, Im the only damn soul in the bar. Seems odd for a Wednesday afternoon. I light up a cigarette and look up to see the bartender grinning at me like he knows something i dont. I hate that shit. "Whats got you so happy?" I ask. "You should burn down the saw mill at the edge of town", he says it like its fucking casual to tell someone you just met to burn down a saw mill. "What the fuck would make you ask me something like that?" My mind is swimming with how ridiculous this all is. Sure its a shitty town that has brought me nothing but down since the day i stepped foot into it, but that was weeks ago.


He slides me a pack of matches with some stupid hotel logo of a flamingo and palm trees. I look up at him "How long you been holding on to these chief?" he smiles and walks away. Fucker.  I take a long draw off my scotch, its smooth and burns, hard to believe a shit town like this in the middle of the desert would have good scotch, but alot about today is hard to believe so why fight it now. I open the matchbook and see it already has five or six missing, go figure the one gift i get in this town and its already used, fuck it. "Give me another scotch", I light up another smoke, not using his matchbook, he notices and winks. Fucker.


"So for shits and giggles, tell me bout this saw mill handsome." As if he was waiting his whole lifetime to tell me he grabs me by the arms and draws me into his idea of burning down the saw mill on the edge of town. Five scotchs and half a pack of Winston's later and im on board, the idea is great and so is his smile. To tell the truth i could use the money from the safe. We agree that it'll be done by the time the sun rises.


After the bottle of scotch was killed i set off, my boots making little pillows of dust rise with every step, I played with the matchbook in my jacket pocket, the seven bottles of tequila in my bag clinked out a rhythm that had me humming a "reverend peytons big damn band" song about persimmon. Made me smile, I love that song, persimmon has the color of a fire and lust.  I loaded the gauze into each bottle not thinking twice about taking a couple swigs first. Waste not want not. The bottles each felt the perfect weight as they left my hand like a womans breast, each making a beautiful splashing flower of fire against the saw mill's wooden exterior. I lit a cigarette as I watched the building settle into an inferno.


Back at the bar, my bag heavy with cash, i ordered another scotch, seems to be the only drink that cuts through the soot of a good blazing fire. I wiped my hand again on my jeans leaving another black smear. DAMN. The bartender walks toward me smiling "That blaze was much better than the warehouse yesterday." I look up at him slowly and i light another cigarette. "Yes, yes, it was"


Putting the matchbook on the bar, pulling the cork on the scotch, I wink at myself in the dirty mirror behind the empty bar.
rusty_cupcake Uploaded 01/06/2011
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