I'm a small town drunk, and I spend most of my days trying to remain cool while others buy my drinks, acting out a moment of sorrow for some dead dog that was crushed beneath the wheels of a SUV in front of my eyes, the only relationship I had been able to hold together after a pathetic divorce from a woman who was too good for me as they say and after several ridiculous short term affairs batting left handed as they say although I prefer going over to the dark side because nothing seems to work not that I'm a coward you understand but what the hell can you do when the only thing sustaining you is a garden ten miles down the road that proves once and for all that I don't have a brown thumb, never before being able to grow even cactus, and now suddenly I'm the master gardener and everybody wants to know how I do it and I tell them, "I'm just a small town drunk."

    I think I'm jumping ahead of my story a bit here and should fill you in on all the sordid details, I mean, yeah, I've had some great moments and my life has been filled with stars that explode in the night, hell, a whole super nova of explosions, but when you're penning that final note, the final suicide note of failure -- and I'm way too lazy to even do that, always thought I would write all the losers I've ever known, you know, the ones I call my friends, and tell them off or tell them on, tie them up with my letters that I mail the night before the bullet goes off, I mean, we've all thought about it, right?

    Well, I'm not going to get to the end just yet. First I've got to make you cry and laugh and suffer and delight at all the midnight raids into the pantry for one more drink and a quick sandwich before bed. Did you ever wake up in the morning and look at the table in front of you and wonder, "What the hell did I eat last night?" because there's an open can of sardines and the mustard is all over the counter and there is stale bread rotting with mold. It must be healthy to eat that shit, after all, isn't that the way what's his name discovered penicillin? Only that wasn't me, that was somebody else, somebody who achieved something in his life, felt good about himself, no, not like me, I've never felt that good, I've always done a song and dance whenever a free meal presented itself, and god damn it, I'm the Rudolf Nureyev of the free lunch. I'm Isadora Duncan on devil dust. I'm the most witty, clever, intelligent guy you'll ever meet.

    Well, I do have to sleep on the couch downstairs tonight because I'm too fucked up to drag my tired poor soul up the god damn stairs again, just as long as someone, any one, buys me another drink. If I could only sip on this damn thing long enough it might happen but I'm too much of a downer, not a sipper, but guzzle the thing, and so hell, I'm putting my money on the bar and shouting out like Mickey Rourke in 'Barfly,' "To all my friends!"

    Fuck, it's really Bukowski, but let's not get literary here.

    Do you know how to mix a martini? No, I mean really mix, where you pour the gin into a shaker, don't measure the shit, and add some vermouth, cover with ice, put the top on and shake the fucker and pour and you squeeze the empty shaker into the glass and it fills the glass perfectly to the rim, forming that wonderful bubble on top that requires you to bend over and suck from it because to do anything else would spill the magic of the elixir. And don't stick in an olive, the damn thing's not a meal, it's a drink, just a little twist of lemon -- that's all, no fruit in my martini. Well if you can do that, then you walk with god and believe me friends, I've walked with god many, many, many times. I've swooned and enchanted audiences of women with eyes of heaven and men with dreams of hell, and martini mixing has made me the man I am.

    Okay, so it's not much, but really, what have you got? What fucking skill do you have that you can call magic? And don’t' give me that crap about okay one time you were able to . . .


    You have to perform magic consistently to be magical.