OLWG · writing

OLWG# 222- Late Night at the Tumbleweed

Written for OLWG# 222

After stepping into the Arkansas Tumbleweed Lounge, Ben Jones slumped against the wall by the front door and surveyed the room. An old guy leaned on his elbows at the end of the bar with a frown on his face. He was talking to a young woman huddled over an overflowing ashtray. She, in turn, was doing her best to ignore him. The old guy looked as if he hadn’t had a good day. He had a shot glass upended on the bar in front of him, and he was nursing the bottom half of a glass of beer.

A middle-aged woman who looked like a librarian hovered at the other end of the bar. She dressed conservatively and tastefully but she was drunk. Waving her hands and shouting at Dominic, who was working tonight. Dominic looked as though he would rather be anywhere else in the world. Anywhere other than behind the bar listening to this manic librarian. Ben was glad he couldn’t hear whatever she was ranting about.

Against the far wall in the last deep booth sat a couple; sitting on the same bench seat, on the same side of the table; their hands intertwined between them, and their foreheads touched. The next booth held a foursome of polyester-clad sales guys, seemingly in town for the night. They were dishing up a lot of verbal insubordination to the piano player. Merv was the entertainment tonight. Merv was a crooner wearing a sequined blazer, the colour of Kambaba Jasper.

Ben decided this might be a good night for country-western music. It was not a night for crooners. He slipped back out the door to the street. Two blocks down, he would find Chubby’s diner. Where he knew that he could get a Salisbury steak and a strong cuppa Joe. They had Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and Patsy Cline on the jukebox there. If he had luck on his side, Lanna would be working.

He didn’t think he could listen to Merv tonight.

This week’s prompts were:

  1. ungrateful
  2. another Mr Jones
  3. the colour of Kambaba Jasper

10 thoughts on “OLWG# 222- Late Night at the Tumbleweed

    1. Yes, DS Ben Jones has retired in this piece. He moved to the States. He bought a river bank shack, with a tin roof, listens to a variety of different music, and drinks just a little too much, most nights. Thanks.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Last weekend I saw a guy in a t-shirt from an old piano bar in Seattle I remember well. Surprised the place lasted as long as it did, given the rampant redevelopment back then. It was 3 blocks from where I worked for a while and was a favorite of my co-workers because absolutely nobody went there. All the other gin-joints in the neighborhood were too-cool-for-school hipster trolling spots, and therefore loud, standing-room only places. Piano bar had 10, maybe 15 for happy hour. Its bread-n-butter were all the folks from the nearby theater district. The techs and performers, that is. Come 11pm, that place was jumpin’. Can’t quite look a gin martini straight in the eye after those days.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. OK, T. That is, when I emerge, like a moth from the chrysalis, somewhere around mid-October. Or, maybe November. After I finish the conference and … MOVE … (!!)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Nope. Condo complex needs infrastructure upgrades beyond what I can afford in assessments. Need to unload this place before I lose much more equity.


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