The Absinthe Drinker

The Absinthe Drinker
Victor Oliva, "The Absinthe Drinker"

Off to the Races

"She came from Croatia or Tunisia or some kind of place with male domination and within three months was addicted to diet soda." I'd be awfully interested to learn the connection, but on noticing your voyeur author checking them out they huddle, giggle, smile, and leave. Not every paragraph comes to a satisfactory conclusion.

Generations at the table. Latinas: grandmother, auntie, thirty-something daughter with baby, college-age daughter without baby. Stylish: ripped jeans, short skirts, hair in topknots, except for college girl in track pants and trainers. Loudly laughing; snapping selfies. The girls' day out.

My barista friend smiles, nods. She's frothing some complicated something I don't understand. It's her umpteenth gig this week. She makes coffees here, is a nanny one town over, house sits, walks dogs, shelves books in the campus library. Between work and study she sleeps about three hours a night. She has dark rings under both eyes and no time for boyfriends. She stays awake by abusing Adderall supplied by a former roommate. For recreation on weekends when she's not working or studying she smokes piles of weed, sometimes in the dorm, sometimes at my house, where I sometimes join her and sometimes don't.

This is one of those weekends. At home I've got edibles, merlot, brandy and gin. She contributes her Adderall to the mix. We're off to the races.

Tea-Pop Cafe, Camanava, Philippines
Tea-Pop Cafe, Camanava, Philippines

Source: www.markphillips.com

Prison Ink and Apple Watch

"What's it gonna be?" Teen-something undergrad recites her thyroid test numbers monotonously like a great-grandma at Denny's. Her teen-something undergrad companion is mighty patient, far more than I absent caffeine and lunch.

Gen X truckers in Peterbuilt hats have tat-covered arms. Trucker 1 is essentially gray from knuckles to t-shirt sleeve, probably higher. Trucker 2 shows prison ink and an Apple Watch. Are we used to seeing those things together? 🤔

Outside two fat cops in summer shorts hassle an even fatter street dude. There's no indication that Mister Streets has violated any codes. It's just a vanilla downtown hassle on behalf of the merchant few. In a righteous world, gathering crowds would tell the cops to move along. Unfortunately we're in California.

William H. Johnson, "Cafe" (1939-40)
William H. Johnson, Café (1939-40)

Source: www.markphillips.com