The story so far:
The Silo was gradually getting more crowded as Jack and Mario walked in. The excited squawking of the crowd was overpowered by the sounds of an acoustic guitar being strummed on stage, rather badly, by a middle-aged guy wearing a Tommy Bahama shirt. He was doing Jimmy Buffet covers. Jack hated Jimmy Buffet. This is gonna be a great night, he thought bitterly.
"Two Reds, please" Mario said to the bartender as he and Jack sat.
"You got it." The bartender went to fill up their pints.
"You wanna talk about it, Jack?" Mario was being earnest,he and Jack had been friends since fourth grade.
"No, not particularly." Jack appreciated the concern, but the mere mention of Gloria's name these days was enough to send him into a vortex of nauseating depression.
Mario tried to change the subject, "What have you been doing lately?"
"Reading a lot of Bukowski."
The bartender came back with the pints. "Thanks Julius, just start me a tab."
"Sure thing Mario."
Jack sipped his beer, even though he was extraordinarily depressed the cold, red lager was delicious. Micro-brewed always put him in a better mood. He turned to Mario who was drinking his beer at a faster clip.
"Thanks man, you know, for being there and all."
"Don't mention it, just get drunk or something, Lord knows you need it."
About five pints later and Jack's depression had significantly diminished along with his sobriety.
"Screw Gloria man! She's just a-----she's a---a succubus! That's what she is, a damn succubus, and you know what man? You know what? I don't need that in my life right now, I'm doing great, yeah that's right, I wouldn't take her back if she begged me!"
"Hell yes, really!"
"She's two stools down from you right now."
Jack's face twisted into a pretzel of neuroses, "What? Where?" He frantically looked over his shoulder and almost fell out of his stool. He heard Mario's emphatic laughter.
"Oh man, I got you! That was priceless, you really freaked out for a second."
"You're not funny, you know that?" Jack smiled despite himself. Maybe he had over reacted a little.
"Sorry man, I couldn't help it. Seriously though, you should really make a concerted effort to get out of this funk you've been in lately. I mean I know that life can deal you a crappy hand from time to time, but that's when you punch the dealer in the face and start your own damn game, know what I mean? Jack?"
But Mario's clever analogy had gone unheard, Jack was completely captivated by the young woman on the tiny corner stage. She looked about twenty three to twenty five, and was playing an acoustic cover of "Crimson and Clover" by Tommy James and the Shondells. She was amazing. Her voice carried over the entire bar, and most of the patrons stopped to listen as she belted out the lyrics:
But I think I could love her
Crimson and clover
Over and over