It’d be ill advised, though an interesting diversion, to draw a cool drink from these waters. It is a dark holler and a place to hide, yes. But that is just it! For those who make their regular a tired and beaten stage, it is a romantic, consolatory desperation. If it is solace I find in a pint and comfort I’ve obtained from the arms of the disturbed then it must be agreed that I and they are all masochists of these establishments; The cycle of abuse perpetuates itself because the glass is never full and continuously empties like a sieve. The comfort to be found here is but a dirty mirror with your own reflection weeping. Many emphasize desperate pleas by a nod and the clink of glasses; they are but a broken records with faraway grins. People come to talk but seldom to listen. The bartender inclines a head pathetically and sells her 16 ounces of madness at a peculiar cost.
Is it hell that’s so cleverly disguised? A place where patrons languish over their forever fevered brow? Aye, this is the place where words are made but they fall upon deaf ears. This is the place where the fatigued and needy squat-down though they find no lasting pause in their tedium. It is the metaphorical stagnant waters of the river Lethe, ever stale though it is traversed and refreshed many times. Woe to those poor damned souls who get their swig in hell from er’ regimental beastie, Gunga Din!
The boatman will draw up his ferry and you will pay him. Thus he will take you to his own world of ironic routine; to wander aimlessly in a great fog. Here we accomplish many a thing by word and dint but we always leave bereft-if leave we can. But welcome to this dive! And take it to heart because the drinks are cheap and the patrons are but jolly husks that are given life by the spirits they consume. For whatever reason an old man with a great beard calls to us and I lift my emptied vessel:
“Fill to me my parting glass, good night and joy be with you all!”