The Fish On The Wall

The fish on the wall was over 150 years old, they said. General Patton caught it off the Huntington Pier, they said. The lost couple at the bar took it, hook, line and sinker. The star on the poster of the show that wasn’t remotely shot in the bar (the exteriors, yes) glared down, making me giggle. Never mind Patton wasnt even born 150 years ago, but none-the-less the fish tale growing was quite excellent. Also I could absolutely be wrong but I don’t think they were ever pulling 50lb yellowtails off the Huntington Pier, even when it was built in 1902, when Patton would have been 17 and sure, being from California, could have been fishing down there, why not?

Toto comes on. (You know the song don’t be an asshole.) The chatter is alive, swimming, I bounce from conversation to conversation, the bartender and the couple she knows took them a minute to remember how, now she’s talking about her daughter with them, the old friends reconnecting to my left, the first date at the end of the bar. (Strong choice, fella, but I approve.)

The open door lets the cigarette smoke waft in, a smell that I’ll never be repulsed by, it’s the smell of the dive. Stale beer and smoke and sweat and exhaust and old grease and the bleach in the wash station.

May it never change. May the fish tales always get bigger.