A long while back I lived in a crazy part of town, populated by artists and musicians and drug addicts and thieves, maybe the thieves weren’t crazy, they had business to conduct is all, business isn’t crazy, business is business. The others, though, they were clearly insane. Don’t tell me artists and musicians aren’t as bad as drug addicts. All of them are out of their heads. I was probably out of my head living down there in the gutters with the rest of them. I didn’t have much money, so that maybe counted as an excuse. I don’t know. Humans come up with a lot of reasons for their failings. How was I any better than the rest of them. Not by a long shot.
There was a pub where I took my nightly drink. End of a twisted and dirty street. No name, that pub. No sign, even. Everyone in the neighborhood understood what the place was, they pushed through the screen door and sat in the dimness and filled themselves with whatever the bartender had to sell. Beer, homemade wine. Whiskey on special occasions, where it came from was anyone’s guess. One night the pub burned down, a candle left unattended the most likely culprit. We almost lost the whole damn neighborhood with the pub, it was a hell of a bonfire, the devil would have felt right at home. The pub went, the buildings on either side went. The grungy squatters in the buildings went. The bartender didn’t make it out of the conflagration. She ended up on the roof, trying to decide whether or not to jump and die on the cobblestones or wait for the flames to gobble her up along with the rafters and shingles. She waited so long the roof gave way and made the decision for her.
Don’t ask me if the poor bartender was one of the crazies. I would probably have done the same thing.