Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We don't never pay much attention to him, but neither does he to us, mostly. His table in the corner rests wreathed in a curtain of dense, torpid fog, a constant languorous blanket obscuring the glowing ember at the tip of his cigar like the eye of some crouched ghoul in a dank cave. I haven't much spoken to him; he has a name, Morgan or Morris or some-such, a heavyset and imposing sounding name, a name that weighs down the tongue as it is spoken. It fits him, though, whatever it is... though he doesn't much bother to leave his cracked leather booth in the corner, his presence holds percievable force, an anchoring gravity exerting itself silently, imposingly, from above and behind whatever events occur in the bar. The time Jacky had too much and found himself staggering drunk, barechested, atop a table, screaming obscenities and raining shattered glass, coming dangerously close to the edge with every step, the bear in the corner was there, yawningly large, to wrestle him down and escort him to the door. About the only time I think I've seen him leave his table. It's not as though things get to that point often though, I swear it, our crowd is very quiet and peaceful down-to-earth people, mostly hard workers at the plant, sick and tired after long days at the saws and grinders and ready for a beer and a breather. As I said, though, he don't usually worry himself about us, us fellows, even as the night stretches on and the conversations blur together and the bar begins to waver, the frost begining to crackling and spread across our windshields in the parking lot outside.
I figure he had a girl here at some point, but as far as we can tell, he spends his nights in the bar, alone but never lonely, smoke curling around his face, until closing time or whenever, I've never stuck around long enough for to find out. It's the only explanation I can find; none of the plant workers know him or his proper name, old Terence always changes the subject when we mention him, even Scabs can't say much specific about him. I've never seen another man in his seat, I'd swear to it, but I can't imagine he's here every night. Even the girls can't say anything about him, though a few have in fact paid visit to his cabin the valley, they themselves seem to be even more confused.

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