Here in this Orono “Blues Café” there are three sources of sound coming at once: television behind the bar, stereo playing blues and folk, radio in the kitchen. The tender is young pink and asks me questions like can I see your ID and how long have you been living here. I give him no answer, just silent movement of head and hands. I ask him questions like how late is this place open, to which he says, “I don’t know.”
When will the music start tonight?
I don’t know, whenever.
Is there music every night?
I don’t know, usually a few nights a week.
I don’t know.
I’m the only customer here. It’s 6:30 in the evening on a cold, rainy Tuesday in June. It’s a large place to be so empty: shiny mahogany stained tables and chairs, pool table, tropical plants, full marble bar. It could hold a lot of people but it’s just me and this bartender who knows nothing and a guy in the kitchen who drags around a bucket and washes his hands constantly.
I want to ask the pacing bartender, “When will you know something, when will you know if there is music.”
Nervous these boys are.
Now there are people next to me in the bar. “Doing stuff that you do when you’re stoned…breaking down cob webs…Have you ever had a tequila sunrise?”
They talk the way I did as a kid, “Wicked…ruckus.” The girl next to me talking loud about her “Art.” Her nude paintings. Them giving off this energy like I should join in with them. But I lean towards my other side instead, where the blues comes from the speaker. Make friends with the music.
Come outside. The rain and its scent. The rhythm of its fall. The smoking kids looking shocked at my nobodyness. They don’t realize. They know me.
My father said he puked like bullets coming out of him. Knew something was wrong when he walked around Manito Park for hours trying to shake wooziness, it full of people and kids like some holiday.
Body too limp to move. This room suits me enough. Too limp to move. Throat of copper. My dad with nothing but acid in his belly.