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Ode to Phil Connors (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
The earth shook beneath me as I lay face down in the track bed. The morning Amtrak shuttle furiously clamored by, as if to shame me from my slumber.

Steel wheels fired chunks of granite from the track bed to where I lay my head last night: as if to add insult to injuries I can’t fathom.

Face down in the mud, everywhere from my lower back to my collarbone convulsed and snapped back together in a coughing fit: water, blood, vomit and snot exploded from my face.

Finally breathing, I wiped grime from bloodshot eyes. Reaching inside my jacket, the envelope, although soaking wet, was there, *intact,* but as usual, the letter itself was missing.

Staggering to my feet, the stone crunched beneath my boots as if walking on bits of brittle wet bone fragments. I reached the platform as another train ambled closer... and pulled myself up: much to the astonishment of bleary eyed morning commuters.

‘Well, they’ll have something to talk about at lunch,’ I thought to myself.

I brushed off the dirt and made my way back to the bar. It was dark inside as the fragrance of beer and cheap perfume from the previous night hung from every corner.

Cigarette smoke danced in a haze of its own beneath pulses of red, green and white neon. The only real signs of life, each cloud seemed to sway as if to disconsolately nod to Martina McBride’s “Concrete Angel,” bawling from the jukebox.

Characteristically, the bartender barely acknowledged me from behind her smartphone. She tilted her head up as if to wordlessly challenge me to stop annoying her and demand as to why I was worthy of her attention. I managed to motion to the middle shelf with my battered hand, asking for a Maker’s Mark, straight up.

She hesitated; cocking an eyebrow at me: *Not this shit again,* I thought to myself, slapping a twenty on the damp mahogany.

“Im not fucking homeless, Im thirsty,” I said with resignation.

And with that, I had my first drink.


Sipping contentedly, I sat alone in that forgotten dive- the whiskey burning bright in my throat: like promises spoken.

With each refill, memories replayed: hitting me hard, like promises broken.

The burning gave way to warmth, the warmth gave way to a welcome surrender.

Again, in this bar.
Again, with *this goddamned song.*
Again, she’ll walk in.
Again, we’ll raise a glass.
Again, she’ll walk out.
Again, I’ll ask for a pen.
Again, happy hour ends.

And again I’ll start writing.
And again I’ll catch my train.
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Really well crafted and evocative. I was there with you from start to finish. Might want to re-work 'I reached the platform as another train ambled closer and climbed up, much to the astonishment of waiting morning commuters.' I think they would be astonished if the train climbed up. :)