The thin man, with the grey buff Stetson, sat a bit taller at the bar, reached into his coat pocket and fished around till he found his crumpled pack of Marlboro Reds. Pulling out the last cigarette he held it up to the light and tried to straighten it. He was moderately successful so he pulled a blue tip match from his hatband and struck it alight with his thumbnail. He repeated this step three times before he finally got the smoke lit.
Behind the bar Andi ambled his direction, “Dusty, ya’ll know ya can’t smoke in here. Ya gotta either put that out now, or go outside.” She put her hands on her hips and glared at him; challenged him.
He looked back at her, “Hi, Andi,” he said. He closed his eyes, rubbed the stubble on his chin and smiled absently at her.
“Dusty, yore all liquored up again. You oughta just go home.”
“I’m never going home agin, Andi. ‘Less you let me come home with you!” He took a long draw on the cigarette and blew the smoke in her direction.
She shook her head and teetered away, back down the bar. Zimmerrman raised his finger, signaling for another gin fizz.
An older woman a couple of stools down piped up, “I’ll take ya home Dusty.”
The thin cowboy looked down at her, “Jeeze, Ma; what’re you doing here? Aren’t you missing the Channel 7 News?”
“It’s OK, honey. I got yore ole bed for you to sleep in. Still have those ‘Cowboy Bob’ sheets you liked so much. Nothing’s changed.”
Dusty grimaced and spun on his seat. He stood to leave and started stumbling towards the door.
Andi called out after him, “Give my best to Rose Marie, Dusty. We’ll see you guys for dinner t’morrow night. Don’t forget to bring that drain snake. Our downstairs toilet is clogged again and Dave can’t clear it with the tools he’s got.”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” Dusty murmured under his breath. He raised his left hand in a kinda half-assed wave.
The door swung closed behind him and his mother hollered out, “See ya, boy. Bring those grandkids around for a visit sometime, whydon’tcha?”