Archive for June 23, 2014




23 June 2014

“Good morning, Chuck, how was your weekend?”

“Oh, it was good and bad. I went to some of the festivities downtown. It was just a drunken brawl. There was a half-naked woman and two guys arguing. They were causing quite a commotion. The street was closed, so even the bars that don’t have patios had tables and chairs out on the sidewalk. My son works as a cleaner at one of those bars.  They were packed. He had a big  job the following day.

“I guess I never told you, but I have a tattoo on my left arm.I’ll show it to you in the summer when I have a short-sleeved shirt on. It’s just a simple ribbon with my girlfriends name on it. The way I got it was, there were some tattoo artists visiting from New York. These guys were rated some of the best in the world.  We went to an English style pub that had a dart league, so there were boards along the wall and you could get darts from whoever was behind the counter.  Anyway, we were all pretty drunk when someone suggested that we play darts. The idea was to diddle for the middle. The wager was a hundred bucks. It must have taken half an hour before someone hit the middle. My son won the hundred dollars. He said to one of the tattoo guys, ‘I’d like my dad to have a hundred-dollar tattoo.’  So that’s how that came about.

“It’s six years to the day that I had my heart operation. The same day that I quit cigarettes and alcohol. I still have a craving for cigarettes. I’d quit before for about five years, then one day I was in a bar, someone blew smoke in my face and all I wanted was a cigarette. I decided to stay in my apartment for a week, just so I wouldn’t be tempted. One morning I was walking to the mall, and there on the path was a pack of Players plain, that’s the brand I smoked.  They were still in their cellophane wrap. The temptation was too great. I ran to the convenience store, bought a lighter and I was smoking again.

“I don’t know what it was like with you, but when I was growing up my whole family smoked. That cigarette smell would be everywhere, in your clothes, in the car, pool halls and bars. It was hard to avoid. The only one who didn’t smoke was my mother.”