The Last Word by Les Bohem

Here’s a sad story.  I am almost 65 years old. Well that’s a sad story in and of itself, but here’s the one I’m telling.  I’m walking home on Thursday night, and I decide to stop off at a bar for a drink. The bartender is young.   Her hair is blue.  I ask her for a Last Word, a difficult cocktail that I know that some bartenders like to make. She tells me that she hasn’t made one in a long time but she wants to know which kind of tequila I like. I tell her politely that I believe the Last Word is made with gin. It is; I know this.  She tells me that she will have to Google it, and I ask her instead what gin cocktails she likes to make. She proposes one with lime juice, simple syrup and cucumber and I tell her that’s fine. She goes off to make it.  

a woman sitting next to me at the bar says, “You’re right, a Last Word is made with gin.”  In an instant, I immediately revert to club mode. Oh my God, a woman is talking to me at the bar. What shall I do? My wife is waiting at home, but you do not turn down opportunities like this.  She’s maybe 35, and attractive.  I wonder if we could go to her place. 

“I used to be a bartender, she says.  “I haven’t been one in a while, but I know it’s made with gin.” Could we go to her place? Will I look impotent if I tell her that I’m married.  “Isn’t it a drink the bartenders like to make? “I ask.

“I don’t know,” she says, I just know it’s made with gin. You were smart to order something that the bartender knows how to make.” Oh my God, a complement. What’s my next move? Then we sit for a long moment. It’s uncomfortable – in the way things used to be uncomfortable. Then a guy her age in a tank top sits down in the empty seat between us. “Man,” he says, “you’d think a place like this had a better bathroom.”  Then he turns to the bartender  “I love your hair,” he says

“I did it with a crayon.” she answers.

He and the girl begin to talk.  It’s obvious they came together.  She was just being nice to an old guy.  My drink comes.  It’s not a Last Word but it’s pretty good.

Les Bohem has written a lot of movies and TV shows including the mini-series, Taken which he wrote and executive produced with Steven Spielberg. and for which he won an Emmy award.   He’s had songs recorded by Emmylou Harris, Randy Travis, Freddy Fender, Steve Gillette, Johnette Napolitano (of Concrete Blonde), and Alvin (of the Chipmunks.  He is currently producing his series, Shut Eye for Hulu.

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