I sit at the bar but I am also
the sole barman in this tavern I own.
The scenery is in a black and white
Monochrome like it’s a vintage movie.
The walls are constructed from my little
Intellectual knowledge. A proper
Study of the walls will reveal fine grains
Of scribbled words and numbers arranged in
An incoherent manner. Whoever
Has time enough to decrypt the unknown
Code will see it pan out as my very
Own autobiography, a code I
Cannot fully remember by myself.
Although, some areas have words that have
Been weathered down to smears and there are some
Patches of nothing. Blank and forgotten.
Here and there are memories painted out
As living murals. A few picture frames
Hang on the walls. If you walk close enough,
You’ll feel waves of emotions wash over
You. My tavern is beastifully made.
here my angels and demons come to drink
amongst other social indulgences.
Business is good with some regulars and
Karaoke. Today, Lust waltzes with
Pornography, dancing a masterful
Pirouette as Vanity and Envy
Sing A lovely duet. Shame decides to
Grace us with his dour presence. He’s always
Interested whenever those two dance while
I walk around polishing tables and
Cleaning mugs, preparing for a busy
Day. The bell rings as the door opens and
In comes a glowing version of myself.
He’s white; not Caucasian white nor the white
Of chalk but that of purity. Unspoiled.
Vanity and Envy falter but I
Spur them on, what’s a good pub without good
Music? I know, today, my angels will
Come knocking. Literally. Everyone
Else just walks in. Mr White grabs a seat
At a table right in the centre of
The room and orders a mug of distilled
Water and tells me to keep it coming.
He hints that he’ll be hosting a friend here.
Soon, other customers walk in and my
Business is now running in full flow and
I am making my rounds, serving drinks and
Receiving orders. There’s surprisingly
Much to drink considering that there’s no
Bottle of alcohol on the shelves, just
Elixirs and potions, Water from the
Fountain of youth, Liquid adrenaline.
Valour arm-wrestles with Malice and I
Cannot tell who the winner will be. I
Deliver another plate of food to
Gluttony as Anorexia cheers him
On, himself not ordering anything,
Ironic. Melancholy stares into
His empty glass cup. I ask if he wants
A refill. He looks up and I see the
Pain in his eyes, his tears unshed. There is
A brief moment of intimacy and
We connect as he starts to reply me.
He’s suddenly crowded by a pair of
Twins, Suffering and Smiling, who start an
Incessant chatter, Melancholy laughs
At something said. I fill his glass, saying
That one’s on the house. Misery does love
Company. As I walk back to the bar,
I wonder why those two are twins. I mean,
We all share the same negro complexion
And have the same foundation of self, yet
Everyone in the room is different.
Piety over there is a shrivelled
Old man but he’s the same age as every
One else. I think he is just atrophied.
Lust has a habit of licking his lips
And there’s always something sly in his eyes.
Mr White is an enigma, unknown.
Pornography walks around with a bulge.
Shame is bald-headed and never looks you
In the eye. Gluttony’s too fat to move.
I wonder how he gets in. Malice has
A voice like gravel and scars everywhere.
Individual perks might be subtler still
Like Melancholy using mascara.
Suffering is always with a smile while
Smiling never smiles but if you look in
Their brown eyes you can tell their true natures.
Envy and Vanity are the best of
Friends who will do almost anything for
Attention. Valour’s only equal in
Strength is Malice but Piety still keeps
Him in check. It is worth mentioning that
He is the only one with a grown beard.
Knowing who’s who is no big deal for me,
Being so familiar with everyone
But it could be taxing for someone new.
However, they all have their names on their
Persons: tattoos, name tags or shirt designs.
All you have to do is look, that is if
You can read and understand my language.
Shame later comes to clear his tab and says
There’s little room for him anymore with
The increased patronage but he’s sorry
He has to leave. He says his goodbyes and
Hurries to the door. As he opens the
Door, a female figure is lurking at
The doorway. Mr White is up from his seat,
proper and gentlemanly, he welcomes
Her in. She shouts “What’s up, Bitches?” while we
all stop and stare, startled and stupefied.