He sat at the end of the bar, his back to the video game machine, sulking eyes averting our glances. He had this annoying, boyish tendency of running fingers through his hair ceaselessly like a pitchfork gouging a hay pile. His face was greasy, especially around the nose and upper lip. When someone dropped quarters into the jukebox, he turned briefly to see who it was. A bland dance-pop tune about love oozed out of the machine. He scowled, staring into his beer glass. None of us regulars thought much of him.
I leaned to my drinking buddy Jack and whispered “he looks like the guy in that painting. That one with the old guy and his wife in front of the barn. American something, it’s called.”
“American Something. It’s famous. You’ve seen it before.”
“I have?” Jack wore a Harley Davidson t-shirt emblazoned with an American eagle, its wings outstretched. His arms were crowded with tattoos: an American flag, a skull and dagger poised above a broken heart. He was not an expert on the art world. To be honest, neither was I. I remembered a few pictures from art appreciation class in community college and that was it.
“Everybody’s seen it. The guy has a pitchfork. He and his wife are staring at you. They’re not happy. He’s not getting any from the wife.”
He shook his head, which was bent over his beer glass. “Maybe it’s him. Maybe he needs to take the little blue pill, spice his hoe up.”
“This dude looks just like that guy, except for the hair and he’s thirty years younger and doesn’t wear glasses.”
“Who painted it?”
“Wood something…” said Shirley, who was tending bar that afternoon.
“That’s the Cheers bartender.”
“The Cheers guy is an artist too?”
I let the conversation drop. I thought, I need to stop day drinking.
Continue reading “Revolutions”