“I don’t know if I should laugh or cry into my beer,” Leon said.
“Do both at the same time,” Samantha said.
“Feels like we’re stuck in limbo in this bar,” Leon said. “Like we need to do something to get to heaven.”
“That’s easy,” Sam replied. “Just walk out of here.”
Leon said, “But I’m riveted to this guy’s spoken-word poetry about his doomed relationship with Carol while he plays piano and sings ‘Send in the Clowns ‘and ‘Piano Man’ and tosses back cocktails.”
“It’s a weird mix, that’s for sure,” Samantha said. “Is this what people mean by ‘avant-garde’?”
Leon shrugged. “I think it means whatever you want it to mean.”
“That’s not helpful. Why is he dressed as a clown? Is it some kind of symbol for how he feels inside?”
“Maybe,” Leon said. “Or what if it’s a social commentary on being a performer? You know, like a trained monkey?”
Sam shook her head. “We’ll never know. Look at that. He passed out.”
“Him?” Sam said with a laugh. “We’re the poor bastards who had to listen to him. C’mon, let’s go. We’ve been granted freedom.”
As the couple walked toward the bar’s exit, they saw the other patrons were still watching the clown draped over the piano. Perhaps they wondered if the clown would sputter back to consciousness and continue to entertain them with his act. Or perhaps, after a rest, the clown would start the second act of his performance that was different than the first. Samantha and Leon would never know, as they left the bar and walked towards another bar across the street, their feet moving with the hope of a more “normal” situation in the other bar.
copyright © 2021 Dave Williams