Igor came over, we went
to the Buckaroo, first visit
since the smoke ban went
into effect. The light was
clearer; for the first time
you could see the bulb
behind the plastic which
in the past had been trans-
lucent but now at last
was truly transparent. The
Buck still had a slightly smoky
smell, whether emanating from
67 year old wood or the crusty
guys lining the bar we
couldn't tell. Igor told us
about his one-month mandatory
sojourn in a Bulgarian peach cannery
when he was 16. Pressure cookers
by day, practical jokes by night
--a nightly contest to be the cruellest.
The first to fall asleep might wake up
upside down, strapped with sheets
to bed, the whole frame inverted.
It was called the "cosmonaut."
A drunk pool player apologized
for interrupting, then interrupted
further by demanding our names.
Igor said, "Igor." The guy replied,
"That's a pretty good fake name."
We quickly gave up trying to con-
vince him. He just wouldn't listen.