The little spider crawled up to the bar and asked for sweet vermouth on the rocks. “No one drinks vermouth in these here parts, stranger.” The bartender’s world-weary look belied his mere 22 years on this earth. He eyed the spider suspiciously.
“Well, what do they drink in this town, mister?” The spider tried to get at an itch that was driving him crazy, but his legs got all tangled up.
“Seems you’ve had enough to drink already, stranger.”
“Call me Ishmael.”
“Like in the book?”
“What book?” The spider had never been much of a reader.
“Moby Dick, stranger. Don’t tell me you don’t know it?” The bartender searched the spider’s face for some sign of recognituon. “It’s a book about a man unable to let go of an obsession.”
“Sounds a lot like me, mister. I got something bugging me I just can’t let go.”
“Wait!” Charlie, the one-eyed rat sitting at the other end of the bar, ambled over to join the other two. “Ishmael doesn’t have the obsession. The captain does. Captain Ahab. He wants revenge from the whale. Ishmael is just a guy on the boat who’s looking for something.”
The bartender laughed out loud. “You sure know your books, Charlie!”
“Only takes one good eye to read,” Charlie lit a half-smoked cigarette as he winked elfishly at his friend.”
“Hey…that’s me too. I’m looking for something just like that Ishmael guy in the book!” The spider was starting to get excited now. Perhaps it was no accident he walked into this bar.
“Where do you come from, stranger?” Charlie had been longing for someone to walk in and break the monotony of what was pretty much their daily routine.
“Oh…I had a home once, but that was long ago. As far as I’m concerned, I come from nowhere.” His eyes welled up with tears that he fought to hold on to. He really wanted to tell the bartender and kindly rat more, but he hesitated. The memories still stung as if fresh. Continue reading »