the ultimate good luck

by underswansea

RCE_8235Willow is always feeling lucky.

Bishop needed some luck. Things once easy to him were now fleeting, hard to catch between sunup and sundown. Men and women, both for different reasons, once looked at him as threatening.  Now he was invisible to both. Somewhere along the way, and he suspected for the same reason, luck had abandoned him.

It was with this in mind he swung the door of the bar. When the heat of the ruck, and smell of beer took hold he felt the efficiency of luck returning.  A young man eyed him as he entered. He had on a tight t-shirt that showed off work in the gym, probably a few steroids to help the physique and bring up the anger element. This was something Bishop could never understand about youth; for him, especially when he was young, there was no shortage of anger. It was always something he could depend on.

The young man had forearms covered in tattoos. His elbows had a spider webs that looked best when the man crossed his arms menacingly in front of him. The young man also knew this.

As Bishop walked by he noticed the young mans small wrists. They were the same wrists most cops had. He was just a little guy pumped up. Bishop walked by and gave him a look that said, ‘I have you figured, little bouncer, don’t fuck with me.’

The bouncer caught his eye and held it, turning away, laughing; a young woman flanked his side. His attention turned, held by the luck of youth.

Bishop found the bar. The heat reminded him he was already drunk. He wanted a whiskey but ordered a beer. The beer was six-fifty. He gave the keep ten. The barkeep didn’t ask if he wanted change. That’s the kind of place it was now.

Bishop stood at the bar, tilted himself towards the room to enjoy the sites and his ten-dollar beer.

The waitress was at the far end of the bar loading her tray. Her hair was tied back in a ponytail. Once loaded, she threw her ponytail over her shoulder, not with a toss of her head, but with a whip of her hip. It was one of the little things that Bishop noticed that made life wonderful, like the first songs of the Meadowlark in spring, or the last snowfall when the flakes seem to fall in slow motion.

These were the things Bishop wanted to take with him.

The waitress caught his eye noticing and gave him a smile. One more, he thought.

She delivered her drinks. Bishop watched her route. Admired her easy laugh, taking orders. The music was loud but he’d turned it off in his head.

When she finished she walked up to Bishop, “Can I get you a drink?”

Bishop was drunker than he thought. It was hot, “Let me buy you a whisky,” he said.

She smiled, “Sure.”

The bartender brought two shots of Crown, “Twenty-two bucks.”

Bishop was sober when he realized he only had a twenty. He would have had enough if the bartender had given him his change from the six-fifty beer.

The waitress said, “That’s okay,’’ and reached into her change purse for a five.

The young bouncer had his hand around Bishop’s arm, “Let’s get going old man.”

The drinks were paid for but not drank. Bishop felt the bouncer’s grip tightening. He looked. He was right the first time, they were small wrists. He turned quick and caught him with his left hand under the chin. It was a short punch with his bad hand but effective. The bouncer went down.

Bishop lifted his glass, the waitress did also, they clinked glasses. He noticed her ponytail was on her other shoulder. He wondered if it was the power of his punch that did it, or if she had tossed her hips and he’d missed it.

They shot the whisky down. Bishop said, “I owe you one.”

She was beautiful. He didn’t want her. He only wanted to admire her, like the falling snow. The bartender looked on. The whisky was the real deal and felt good going down. The bouncer was regaining his senses.

Bishop left the heat and noise and fights at the door and walked into the cool night from where he came two drinks before – still drunk, leaving flush and feeling lucky.