Growing Up When You’re Already Old

Maybe it was bound to happen. I looked at both songs yesterday for “E” and got nothing. So I Googled songs beginning with “E” and found “Every Breath You Take” (did I want to write a stalker story?) and “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” I decided on the thorny side of life although in retrospect maybe a stalker story could have been fun.

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter

Growing Up When You’re Already Old

I avoid Deke’s Sports Bar on Friday nights. It’s like a drunken frat party with the invasion of the college kids and couples, always couples, blue jeaned limbs pressed together so that it’s almost impossible to know whose legs belong to whom. They inevitably remind me of Leah and what I rejected.

Today the old man told me he’s retiring, thinking of actually moving to that old folks state down south of here, wants me to take over.

“Ask Brett,” I said.

“Already did. Now I’m asking you.”

Yeah, just the threat of responsibility has me heading into Deke’s on a Friday night for a beer and a shot or two.

All the stools at the bar are taken except for the one cramped into the side where the servers pick up the orders. What the hell. I sit. Deke raises an eyebrow as he pulls a draft and then a finger of whiskey. I raise two fingers and he pours more.

“Must be bad if you’re here on a Friday night.”

I shrug. “Life, man.”

Deke nods because he’s known me forever.

“The old man’s thinking about retiring and wants me to take over.”

“It’s about time you did something,” Deke says.

“I work. I work hard.”

“Yeah, always for someone else. Now you got a chance to work for yourself.”

It’s my turn to nod. I don’t think I’m cut out to work for myself, but I don’t say this. Deke took the bar over from his old man and made a success of it. Although, damn, it’s a bar, bars always make money.

Something makes me look toward the back. Leah. She’s leaning into some guy I don’t recognize, some guy I couldn’t ever imagine her with. He’s clean cut, in a white polo shirt and khakis. Looks like he’s just gotten off a golf course. Their faces are almost pressed together and she’s smiling a smile I know, because I’ve been on the receiving end, but this one’s different. There’s something extra that was never in any of her smiles for me. Maybe it’s because she looks so relaxed and not like she’s about to pull her hair out. I always did have that effect on her.

“He’s a good guy. She deserves to be happy.”

“Did I say she didn’t?”

As if she feels my stare, she looks up. She smiles at me, like a friend. Despite the hand squeezing on my heart, I raise my glass. Damn, maybe it is time to grow up.

end

Sascha Darlington

 

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11 replies »

  1. It’s a good song, I think. At least the old version I’m thinking of my that my mom listened to on the 1970’s/1980’s station. You use it here really well. She is a rose, but she has teeth doesn’t she? She’s also not about to get her petals torn off twice. While I know you’ve got a piece tomorrow, I can’t help thinking of Aerosmith’s “Falling in Love is So Hard on the Knees.” While we know what Steven Tyler refers to really, I think it’s the non-literal or everyday literal that he plays off so well. B/c like for your guy here, love can also hurt a lot, especially the “falling part.” Think of all the bruised and skinned knees you’ve had in life, it feels like that sometimes doesn’t it? Then, you can giggle and shake your head b/c we also know what Steven Tyler meant ‘for reals. But, maybe that could apply to guys too? Lol. I’ll stop now.

    • Thanks, Mandi! Yes that song was easy to write for because there was kind of story about her already moving on in it so I decided to backstory it.

      As for tomorrow’s story. I haven’t written it and don’t even remember what songs are up…so I may need more inspiration like yesterday. 🙂

  2. I enjoyed that!! I feel for the lad… he has to grow up… and take on the challenge!
    Difficult though when he’s the obvious second choice to step up… but hey, he’s got to grow up!! 😉

  3. Never grow up! Interesting song–I didn’t hear it when it came out. Just heard in the last few months on the oldies station.

  4. I have been a bad AtoZ blogger. I invested so much time into my story that I just stopped blog hopping. Over the next few days/week, I hope to make up for that. Really well done piece, btw.

  5. Thanks, Stu. I found it really hard this time to blog hop the way I have in past events. But it’s good that you were invested in your story. I always like when an event leads to having a great time writing a story.

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