Topic: Ralph knew
The dive was closing.
Four regulars sat sipping the last of the evening. They knew even though Harold wasn’t going to let anyone else in and would be locking the front any second, he wasn’t going to kick them out either.
Johnny took a longer swig of his Beam neat than he intended. The whiskey burned and almost made him cough. He stared into the mirror behind the bar, a face looked back that was too old. It had aged too fast and without the feeling of earning a wrinkle. That’s the hard part he thought, when you’re young you think enough time passes getting old that you’ll feel like you earned it, the jokes on you he thought. The only thing that seemed to happen with age is time went faster.
Mike sat and contemplated the look on Johnny’s face for a moment then fell into thoughts of his own. He remembered something from his youth, something he hadn’t thought of for a very long time. Taking a drink from his beer he decided to share, speaking loud and not addressing anyone in particular, he began his story.
“I couldn’t have been more than thirteen,Pretty sure Ralph was nine. Frist time I saw him I thought he was a little bit odd.Lived on my bkock but stuck to himself, didn’t play with the rest of us never went to Charlie’s tree house to look at Charlie’s brothers girley mags, didn’t play ball, didn’t even own a bike. One day I passed him walking to school and looked into Ralph’s eyes, that when I saw it.”
“What ya see there Mke?” Feilder asked, he was the only one who seemed to be listening and was feigning it at best.
“I saw that he knew. You see there’s people like that. I guess they just have a natural understanding, born with it. You meet one of them and you know it, you have to see it in their eyes but you don’t doubt it a bit when you do. That’s what he had in those eyes, gives me a chill to think about I tell ya! Bradley and his little henchman Stanley our neighborhood bullies didn’t fuck with him, they saw it. I kept my distance from there on until I moved away, not really sure why.” Mike took a long pull from his draft and stared at his own reflection behind the bar. “Damnedest thing I ever saw, he knew” he muttered.
“What'd he know?” Feilder asked this time with genuine intrigue.
Mike looked at Feilder and in all the hours and years they had spent drinking their lives away Feilder had never seen Mike so somber.
“Everything. I can’t explain other than that you looked in those eyes and knew that kid, he knew everything. Fuck, damnedest thing I ever saw” Mike shook off some old disbelief and stared back at the mirror behind the bar.
Last edited by swollenguy (2012-04-21 03:28:22)