shot glass
"... brevity is the soul of wit ..."
- William Shakespeare

Chris Bays

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Two Minutes to Midnight

Sitting on the far side of the bar, he bellows that a man's leg weighs 17.5 % and an arm 5.3% of total body weight. I can't make out his face, but I note a lament lingering within a Tajik or Persian accent. Still, some drunken patrons bark, "Boot the Arab out." Undaunted, the man sputters, "You Arab." The patrons boo. A moment of silence - then the bartender snaps, "Leave him be." The man screeches, "My heart heavy. 9-1-1 grams." I hunker down. The patron next to me erupts, slams his glass, and tromps toward shadows as dark as the Old Crow spilling down the counter. And then he stops short. His mouth open. A clanking sound fills the burgeoning stillness. The man hidden from us - wheels past. As he disappears into neon red, the bartender rasps, "Afghan War, surgeon."