One of Those Faces

by Douglas Turner

I KNOW that guy across the bar,
the one in faded denim drinking
scotch; his mustache only looks
fake, but it's real. How I know
this guy, I used to date his
sister way back in the day
when we ate hand grenades
and wore our clothes backwards.
You know those times, those
summer nights when every
party was a scoreboard, and
if you missed just one party,
your scores would bottom out.
That’s when I knew this guy,
and that’s when I tugged on
his mustache to make sure —
no, wait a minute, he's not
the guy I'm thinking of.
My mistake. I never dated
his sister. This guy across
the bar, in faded denim,
ordering his fourth scotch
and water, I used to shoot
pool with him. That's right.
And one time, get this, one
time, I loaned him two hundred
bucks — to save his condo, he
told me. But later that day,
he and my two hundred bucks
were seen walking into this
very bar, the one we sit in
now, and six hours and one
helluva good time later, that
son-of-a-bitch walked out
alone, pockets empty.
What I oughta do is walk
over there and get a hold
of his collar — wait a minute,
wrong guy. That's not the
guy who spent my cash. My
mistake. This guy sitting
across from us in faded
denim, what I did was
see him on the news
earlier today. He was
being interviewed about
saving somebody's child
from being mauled by a
pitbull. A local hero, this
guy. I should congratulate
him, but I won't. I don’t
know what to say to him,
and I'm not sure if that
mustache is real or not.
I can't possibly speak to him.
I don't even know him.

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