When i used to live here in 1994-95,
my girlfriend worked at Big Ben
Bookshop and i got a good discount.
My tastes changed
but the books remained.
It was time to clear them out.
Shakespeare & Sons,
around the block,
gave me 400 credit on which to get drunk.
I got there around 11 o'clock,
sat there drawing, sipping Maker's Mark.
It stayed open past closing, chairs
up on all the tables except for one.
Roman the owner and his girlfriend Tania
were very good hosts, kept drinks flowing
and didn't always charge. Even so, one
drunk Brit overstepped his bounds
and pulled her down on his lap.
She said, Pomoc. That's Czech for help.
Pomoc? I asked. Pomoc, she repeated.
I got up and told him to lay off.
He let go and left in a huff.
A glass broke, conversation went south.
Tania hit it on the head when she said,
This is when things fall apart.