Old Guy at the Bar
Old Guy at the Bar: Damn, I love country music.
Me: I like some of it. The old stuff, mostly. Merle Haggard, Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash. When those guys sang about pain and loss, you really believed them.
OGATB: Yeah, these singers that come out today, they ain't got that thing in their voice you know? I don't know what you call it. Them old guys had it though.
Me: I think it was their life. They had their lives in their voices. These singers now, they ain't got no life in their voices, in their words. They ain't lived, really. That's what I think, anyway.
OGATB: The first time I ever heard Johnny Cash do that song "Sunday Morning Coming Down" I thought, there's a guy whose been there.
Me: That's it, man.
OGATB: Well, I'd better go home and feed that damn little dog.
Me: That sounds like the title of a country music song.
OGATB: It does, don't it? Let me tell you something, my wife died last year, and she left me that damn dog. It was her dog, and she loved it, so yeah, I take care of it.
Me: That's beautiful. You know, I'm a writer, and not just a person who says they are a writer. I mean, I really write stuff, and I'm gonna turn what you just told me into a story.
OGATB: Let me tell you about her. . .
And he talked for a solid hour about her. Nothing else. Just her. And then someone played "He Stopped Loving Her Today." And the whole bar sang along.
Verless Doran, been published sporadically here and there. Born and raised in east Tennessee, he writes mostly about the south, rural Appalachia, specifically. He just finished a novel, "A Season of Impotence" which is not about erectile dysfunction. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.