Behind the Lockout, Chapter 2

Behind the darkened windows of Boone’s Pub a beautiful sunset fell over Lake Michigan. However the only beauty visible from atop the valiant bar stool was reflected through the partially full 10 ounce glass. Through a dilapidated jukebox, Ralph Stanley wailed on his life of constant sorrows. The stool’s tenant did the same.

The Motorola RAZR, a memory once associated with happier times, now stained with ketchup and whiskey, hummed in his pocket. HOME, it announced until oblivion overtaken, another hum with informing the inevitable.

Quaffing, announcing, “Another round."


“Williams aaaand…NACHOS!”

“Come on now Joe, you’ve had enough.”

Dumars glared.

“Fine. But I’ll bill you for the cleaning again, you can count on it.” The bartender shook his head. He was no stranger to seeing a man kill himself. But that poor toilet? He shook his head a second time as he put in the order (easy on the jalapenos, he noted).

A television showed the draft and static. Some dude named “Enes” got drafted, Joe chuckled. An unattractive Jonas was selected. An unattractive and untalented but long, smooth, stroker Jan was selected, provoking an obscenity.

Mechanical ruminations from the jukebox announced a new .45. Shit. The wrong song at the wrong fucking time. George Jones singing about the travails of being a rock. It only took a flash of Mr. D. to bring on that wild self-destructiveness, and here’s 3:31 of him. Shit.

The RAZR hummed again, greeted with “Best available.”

“Joe, I have to tell you that means a scoring point guard of some sort. Really, that’s not where our need is. I recommend that we could trade down for a big man. And word is that the Pacers have a trade for George Hill for their pick, so certainly we could find…”

“Best available,” interrupted.

Sigh. Have you been eating again Joe? Look, you aren’t going to find peace at the bottom of that tray.”

“Tell you what Alan, while you’re at selecting the best available, call up Tay’s agent and ask what $30 million will buy. Click.”

The bartender set the round in front of Joe. Picked up the rag and Lysol and headed to the back. “Hell, I’m sorry old friend.”

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