The Southern Belle
In 1812, when the building was first built, they infused the wallpaper with beetroot juice, to achieve the notorious burgundy colour fashionable in most Southern public houses.
When the glasses have been polished to the point of invisibility, and the barrels have been stocked and loaded, I rest my elbows on the brass and embark on the great feat of erasure. It is, of course, against my nature to expel and fold creases into time, to occupy the space beneath where wealthy locals fill my tip jar with copper and tales of the gross Body of life. I catch myself often, refilling shards of ice, reflecting on identical languages. I catch myself wishing you were a barfly, sitting on limes, sucking acid, buzzing through the door. But I settle for George, who tells me each night he could have been an artist, as he picks plaster from his nail beds, and drinks another stout. And the flies, one by one, are electrocuted into history by the plastic swatter and I realise: you are better off wherever you are, than here.