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  • Writer's pictureWILLIAM HAZEL

Three Days in May

Updated: Jun 15

It started in a bar. In my mind that’s where it started.

It could have begun at work. We were supposed to wear red, white, and blue. I did not. Someone stuck little flags in the cubicle corners. I wanted to explain and lean photographs against each skinny stick.

The legless man by the tank in Afghanistan. The youngest son burning in his own flamethrower in a Japanese sun. The Huey pilot without his head. Still calm at the controls.

It could have started in the car. The three days. The long Memorial Day weekend. I got to leave work early and traffic was okay.

But in my mind, it started in a bar. A nice bar that should have played jazz. The nice bars should play jazz but they don’t play jazz in bars. Anymore. Around here, anyway. Maybe they never did. Around here.

The Keep had rouged cheeks that matched her clip-on. Enameled almonds the same hue. And I wondered why the nice bars still make the women wear ties but stopped playing jazz.

I talked about the flags but not the legless man. M sipped her Sauvignon and I couldn’t hear what she was saying over my noisy thoughts of how she managed to change so fast and look so good.

I took at least nine minutes more to scrounge a scruffy match out the door.

She slipped into linen and looked like she should be sipping Sauvignon poured from a carafe by a Keep in a tie matching her nails.

I think it started then. The three days. When I stopped thinking and fell into the moment.

We had less time. The city made parking harder. That’s what our city does. Workers had put little six stickers that covered the eight on the parking signs. All the signs. All the streets. Little six stickers. We wondered how many workers. Maybe it was one. City paid only one worker. Worked all night. Made sense.

Keep joked we could get little eight stickers. M had said the same thing when we parked. M was a Keep. In a nice bar. That played jazz. Great minds. The three of us laughed.  

It’s new to me. The three days. I am still getting the hang of it. It was always seven days. Every day. Everyday. Working. It is a time of change. Of learning. I am a slow learner.

It’s late on the first day now and I don’t know how it will all end. The light in the backyard is changing, the laptop charge draining, and a saline fog is warming from the sea. I don’t know how it will all end. It started in a bar.

1. Title photo design by Author, from a Jason Leung photo, Unsplash.

© Copyright William Hazel, 2024

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