Tim had not stepped foot in Big Billy’s Big Bar in nearly a year months. It was in the midst of summer when he had that melt down. And here it was blazing again. He sighs for a moment at the memory of when he was last in this place. A part of Tim still couldn’t believe he let her take him that far down into the gutter.
For that is exactly what happened. He let her.
He let her in his life. He let her pull him from his friends. He let her put the needle in his arm, foil to his nose. He let her in his finances. It took almost two years but he had let her turn his whole life on end. It took the shock of his father dying to see through all the shiny distractions he let blind him with to the dark destruction he had let her make of his life. But not before he crawled into some bar (because he was no longer welcomed to this one), on hands and knees that were scraped near raw from the sidewalks, strung out and covered in filth. Still, the first thing he had asked for was her knowing she used to go there. The owners knew Tim was friends with Big Billy and called here instead. Billy had managed to get Tim to the bar, up right but the moment Big Billy had let got, so had Tim.
Tim glanced at the area where he had purged from every orifice of his body, seemingly all at once. No one knew but Tim, Big Billy and Clarissa but the shame of it had kept him away until tonight.
“Well will ya look at what the cat done drugged up in here! Billy get your ass over and take a look at THIS! Oh you have just gots to come on ova here and lets me give you a good squeeze!” Clarissa’s booming voice greeted him with delight as she threw down the towel she was wiping a table with and had Tim in a bear hug before the sentence was finished. Knowing it was coming Tim had braced himself for the impact. Still, he felt his last breath escape out of him in a rush from her heartfelt hug. Unable to catch a new breath for a moment as his face was trapped between the swells of her ample bosom, he didn’t mind one damn bit as comfort of the familiar took over. Clarissa has greeted him this way for nearly eighteen years and it was as if the past several months absence had not happened at all.
“Oh good God Clarissa! It’s a damn miracle you ain’t suffocate some soul to death up in there.” Tim was red in the face, but grinning as she finally let him go.
“They can only hope they be lucky enough to go that way. I know I’m hoping I am.” Big Billy, Clarissa’s husband greeted him with slightly gentler but anywhere near as suffocating hug. “You all right there Tim?”
“No, but I will be.” He answered honestly.
“That’s what I like to hear. The usual?” Big Billy patted him on the shoulder. Billy sees him eying the bar. “Don’t worry the spot will always be yours.”
“And you know it!” Tim sits at his usual seat at the far end of the bar.
Pretty soon it really was as if no time had passed in the bar. Regulars he had not seen in so long, new people who look like potential regulars. Tim was there for over two hours and was having a grand old time when Clarissa dropped a glass.”You’ve got to be shittin’ me!”
Clarissa has thrown a glass or two. Clarissa has juggled several glasses, but Clarissa has never dropped a glass. All eyes are on Clarissa, except Clarissa and Billy’s eyes are on Tim, and he knew.
She looked just as good as he remembered he’d give her that. His heart quicken at the sound of her laughter as Blair breezed through the doorway backwards, laughing up into the face of some new male, some new victim. She turned to take step down and froze at the sight of him. Their eyes locked and for a brief moment his entirely history with er flashed before him. The soaring heights, the devastating fall, all the peaks and valleys in between. When it was good, oh it was so good! But once it went bad…
Tim had not laid eyes on her in nearly a year. He had wondered just what he would he’d feel should they ever cross paths again. He is surprised by the answer as he slowly lowers the brandy snifter to the bar surface, watching her walk out. He sighs as the door closed behind her.
Billy looked at Tim askance for a moment, trying to read his friend’s expression.
“You all right there, Tim?”
“No, but… ” Tim starts to give his usually response and catches himself.
“Actually, you know what? Yeah, yeah I am.”