Feb 6, 2013
"Best to Avoid, Boys" (Small-Batch Fiction, No. 103)
I ordered a suit of clothes and they wouldn't send the pants
Tell me how long have I got to wait?
Oh, can I get you now, must I hesitate?
-- "If the River was Whiskey," Charlie Poole
The three old sots sat high on the bluff, looking down upon the big river and the small river town, which was called Prophet, in the state of Mississippi. They drank and talked the fool and drank some more, for it was no day special and they were none but the three sots.
“The river is a woman,” the first sot said. “A wonder to behold, but dark in her depths. Best to avoid, boys.”
“And you,” the second sot said, “married those four times.”
“Which is how I come to know,” said the first. He nodded sagely as he said it. The first fancied himself, though not so much as he was fancied by the second, as the wise old sot. He had sad, hooded eyes that seemed forever fixed on some far-shore danger, even when they were looking scarce beyond the rim of his whiskey glass. His mouth seemed drawn on, dark and crooked, a charcoal rendering of the word askance. If the old sot could have seen himself from across a room, or if he owned a mirror, he might have given himself pause. Other words might have come to his mind, senatorial and such, and he might have blanched and stopped drinking all but doubles.
-- from "Jesus is Coming Soon"