The last beer bust of summer was in full swing. The KGAY soundtrack boomed from the back of the bar. The DJ deftly manipulated the crowd by playing a Madonna song immediately followed by Britney, splitting the bar like the Jets and the Sharks from A West Side Story.
We’d known each other since high school. It was tradition to meet on this weekend to drink and laugh our way through the neighborhood. His fifties were looking real good on him. He was still running marathons when most of us had given that shit up. At 6’6″ he had a commanding presence. I always felt like his superhero sidekick.
We finished our last beers and went to leave the bar when a short man stepped out in Mike’s path. The man wore a leather vest and a tight white tshirt that read ‘Line Forms in My Rear’.
“Where you goin’ studly, aren’ you a tall drink of water,” slurred the man.
Mike paused for a moment and smiled, then said, “Oh sorry, I’m straight.”
“Straight?” complained the man, “Straight! He says he’s straight!,” the man yelled back to his friends in the corner.
“Straight?,” he said to me seeking confirmation.
“Incredibly straight,” I confirmed, with a chuckle.
The man reached up and slapped Mike on the stomach gently, “What a waste.”