For the old boy alone at the table

There was always room for one more place at the table,

the seat always sat empty under the patterned table cloth,

all stained with blood and nicotine

coughed from the lungs of Pops,

the old man with a gold tooth and a plastic heart.

Pops had sat alone at the table for four years

since his wife had left him,

she had left in the middle of the night

quickly through the door into the night,

a waiting taxi had sat at the kerb

with its engine silently running

letting blue smoke escape from the exhaust.

A dog had barked in the distance

as she slammed the door behind her,

leaving the dirty old man to end the rest of his days

in the company of his cigarettes and whisky

– a drunk drinking his life away.

And now as he sat curled over the table

in the same seat he always sat at,

but without the company of his long serving wife

he had no one to talk to, so he talked to himself.

“Could have done something to keep her around couldn’t you,

could have done more, could have made more effort to be nice,

could have made more effort to complement her,

but all you did is sit around with your hand in your pants

scratching your balls.”

He mumbled under his breath like a madman talking at the wall,

an empty rectangle of lighter wallpaper

where the smoke from his cigarettes had been unable to penetrate,

the place where a mirror used to hang,

he had removed it as he couldn’t stand the sight of his own face

as it reminded him of an eclipse.

He took a sip from the glass in front of him,

and leant back in his chair and stared at the stained ceiling,

his life all gone up in smoke

with a legacy ingrained in the spackled paint.

He put one hand on the table and lifted himself to his feet,

groaning in the process and walked to the toilet to take a piss.

The house was a mess,

he never cleaned it,

never had,

that was his wife’s job

– Betty,

he missed her.

Nothing he could do now to bring her back

as she had re-married last year,

some divorcee with a nice car and a big house, two dogs

and a big swinging cock no doubt.

“I guess she deserves it,”

She never was satisfied with this party sausage.”

his penis filled with reeking hatred and kidney stones.

He flushed the toilet and walked back to the table

to retake his seat and wait for a heart attack.

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