"You don't seem to be yourself today," the bartender of the Tempus Fugit said to me as I came in early this morning (around 3AM) and plunked myself down on my stool, one in from the end. Whiskey curled at my feet and quickly nodded off.
"You don't seem to be yourself today," he repeated.
I answered, "thank god. Who would want to be me?"
"Ah, I see you are in your signature lugubrious mood. Perhaps you are yourself, after all."
"I usually am," I answered. "I hope you weren't expecting Mary Poppins."
"No, nothing quite so blithe." He drew me a Pike's Ale (the ALE that won for YALE) and placed it in front of me. "But we have reached the end of the year. And you no longer seem to be staring down the long rifled barrel of death."
"You're right," I said draining my juice glass of nectar. "I have had periodic pericarditis but I seem to be better, healed even."
"You have traveled a long road, my friend."
"A road I wouldn't wish on anyone. Even the bare-footed Gypsy cabdriver who drove headlong into that concrete wall at 70 miles per hour."
He pulled me another Pike's, wiped the mahogany in front of me, and placed it before me. I swirled the amber around in the glass and then took a long swig.
"With your health returning, perhaps you should, how shall I say this, lighten up a bit. Take a moment and thank the Old One."
"He who plays dice with the universe," I replied.
"Einstein said, God does not play dice."
"Well, maybe roulette." I finished number two. "Russian roulette."
"Brecht says that all the gods want is to find one good person. Then they'll know that this whole humanity thing was worth it." He pulled me another and decorously place it by my clasped hands.
I drained it.
"Perhaps it's the guy who created Pike's," I said. "Perhaps it's you."
He laughed and before I could push two twenties his way, said, "On me."
Whiskey and I walked home.
Not stepping on any cracks.