(From NFTD ARCHIVES circa 1990)
...as I opened the early morning door into the Golden Nugget, a misnomer for a sleazodive bar if ever there was one, '...whatta ya want Moses a draft and a shot?' Like it was one word. That's what I wanted and tremblingly woofed it down alongside the rest of the dawn's early lineup of dypsos, vibrating away until that first shot kicked in and brought us up from the daze into the real world and after taking a look around at that odd sight, the real world, we trumpeted the call to Ray for another '...and make it a double...' after which the cocoon of drunkenness began to prevail and we'd be wrapped for awhile in the phony security which booze provides. The false camaraderie. Fake jocularity. Phony, braying, would-be intellectuals drowned in buckets of booze, followed later by quantum headaches and...
(Ahhhhh...why bother with this? Who gives a shit, right?
(What I would like to do today, and cannot, is to go over to your house and talk and laugh with you over coffee and love each other like we used to do but it's all over now baby blue, a lesson too late for the learning and so...)
...and so I sit here thrumming on this friggin’ keyboard as though it takes the place of actual human contact with you but it does not, doesn't even come close, leaves me hanging here lonely and miserable and wishing for a way back to you babe, but it's too late so on I continue to spin these drunken yarns for what I know not...'o for the great relief of having you to talk to!'
'Ray,' says I, '...I'm without capital don't you know but I was noticing that the lettering on your door is peeling badly and if you will provide me with food and drink I propose to repaint 'The Golden Nugget' on your entranceway...what do you think of that proposition?' (Lord have mercy! How many signs have I painted in the circus and on the road and in so many bars just to sate the need for drink and companionship…wandering aimlessly from town to town without pity, train to train, brushes in hand...)
Good ole Ray, 'Well, Moses' - he always called me that because of my long hair and beard and not because of some wisdom he thought I might have - (What sort of a wise man sells his talents for a drink? How wise is that?) - so anyway, Ray says, 'Well Moses I'll spot you your drinks and lunch at noon but don't take all day to do it...' He knew me well did Ray and knew that given the opportunity I would paint a letter, have a drink, paint a letter, have a drink and so on and in 'The Golden Nugget' there are 15 letters and 15 drinks would have made the last six or so letters uneven and dripping down the glass, so he was wise to put some constraints on my efforts...I grabbed my brushes from my itinerant sign painter's Gladstone bag and set to work, drink in the correct hand. By lunchtime the sign was finished and shortly after that so was I...