"Pass the salt." Dreary phrases spoken to an empty table

wasting their lives away

spray painted over the truth

averted downcast eyes

"I've got better things to do."

Two options spread before me

On the pink tablecloth,

Eighteen pearls or

simply a less sentimental string?

I say in hushed tones

"separated memories of each year

on a gold chain, please."

Wine sucked dry by the sponge

Of what was,

Spewing wisdom and nonsense

Advice and comic relief

Indirectly pointing fingers in my direction

Mock whispers behind cupped hands

"Moody and judgmental."

Jokes and the years flashing by

Don't be scared.

"You're born

you're afraid

you die."

Don't be scared

Like I was.

Smoky hazy memories and dreams

Of high rises in the city,

50 acres in the country

just for the holidays.

"I didn't know Mississippi had a coast."

Record player whining

The moody blues

The Beatles

Little feat

"They just don't write songs like this anymore."

Magical mystery tour

Original album cover… a perfect

Cardboard stroke of drug induced

Genius.

Night is fading into midnight

And the wine bottle's empty

Stepping into the bitter chill

Away from awkward goodbyes

"Wait, about those pearls?

I think you already told me

But I forget."

A shrug, quick smile

Nod in her direction

She remembers the past.