Raymond : An Epilogue

He staggered into the bar holding what she called his “monkey statue.” Well, maybe he wasn’t staggering on the outside, but on the inside, he was still rocking back and forth.

He walked toward the far end of the bar and put the statue down. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his wallet as the bar tender walked over.

“What the hell?” the bar tender asked.

“What do you think?” he said.

“All I know is you and she help me pay my bills,” he said. “Are we going to be listening to George Jones all night?”

“Well maybe,” he said. “Maybe.”

“Or is it going to be Swinging Doors, some Merle?”

“You know I’ve run a needle through that one.”

“I hope this break up isn’t for good,” the bar tender said.

“The words, ‘for good’ have nothing to do with this,” he said. “But yeah, I may have found the natural limit.”

He put a bunch of bills on the bar.

“You know we don’t allow animals in the bar,” the bar tender said.

“He’s not an animal,” he said. “He’s my business partner, and he needs a drink.”

The bar tender slid a pile of quarters, a basket of pull tabs, a pint of lager, and two glasses of brown liquid toward him.

“I hate whiskey,” he said. “So that better be Southern Comfort.”

“Marry me next time,” the bar tender said, “Of course it is.”

“Well, a southern man don’t need you around anyhow,” he said, walking toward the jukebox, taking a drink with him.

He flipped through the selections until he found what he needed. He drained the glass. He found the first one he wanted, Will There Ever Be Another, a George Jones and Melba Montgomery Duet. Flip, flip, flip.

“Oh of course,” he said to himself, as he selected, Still Doin’ Time. Flip, flip, flip.

“Yep, this one,” he said as he plugged in Porter Waggoner’s Misery Loves Company. Flip, flip, flip.

“Oh my God,” he said. “Of course.” He plugged in the Spin Doctors. “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong,” he said as he kept flipping.

As soon as his first song started to play, he felt better.