I stood across the street where the bus had dropped me. I looked both ways before crossing the street, checking traffic and to also double check if anyone saw me. I am not sure what I thought I'd find there, but I was determined. A blue cigarette haze greeted me as I scrunched up my eyes coming in from the midday sunshine. The jukebox played Steely Dan as I hopped up on the bar stool and confidently ordered a soda pop. "A Soda pop? darlin'.", said the bartender. "A soda pop." I repeated, far less confidently. "How old are you, boy?" "21" "Ya gonna make me card you, or you just gonna get on outta here." There were a few moments of silence. "I'll get outta here." "Yep," said the bartender. As I walked towards the door with my backpack, the other men at the bar let out a little uncomfortable laugh.
1. September 2016