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David S Grant

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River Rough, River Smooth
by Anthony Dalton

This is the story of the author's two adventures on Manitoba's historic Hayes River by York boat and by canoe, combined with elements of Hudson's Bay Company history.  
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I Did It My Way
By David S Grant
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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           >> View all 22

A bar, a song, and a miscommunication in this drunken tale of karaoke.

I Did It My Way

Outside McCarthy’s Irish Pub, which is located somewhere between the Lower East Side and NoLita, there is a man arguing with a hot dog.  I enter the pub and text Izzy:  “Are we suppose to still be vigilant and report suspicious behavior?  I’m here.”  I look back outside at the man and his hot dog, then text back to Izzy: “I’m sitting at the bar”.

I can’t believe I’m out tonight after last night.  Spending five hours on a Monday, at a German bar, drinking out of a boot can’t be good for my health.  After, sometime around 3am I went home, where I decided to answer emails while wearing sunglasses.   

I order a Stella and listen to a man in a suit with a Hitler mustache discuss the new tax laws and I begin to feel the same depression I do when listening to PBS. 

Izzy shows up and tells me he just got back from Texas.  I ask him what he was doing in Texas and he responds by ordering a Stella and saying, “You know, just chilling”.

I tell him “That’s interesting”, and he says, “Yeah, it is interesting”.

A man at the door is having trouble getting past the bouncer checking IDs.  I elbow Izzy and say he should try the I’m Abe Froman, the sausage king of Chicago line, but Izzy doesn’t get my reference so we just drink Stellas for the next two hours.

Izzy has this thing where he tattoos his body with places he’s been.  Sort of like people used to do with luggage, before planes were flown into buildings.  So we go to a sex shop on 6th Avenue that also does tattoos and Izzy explains to the tattoo artist that he wants Texas on the right side of his back, above Cancun, below Montreal.  I just sit there watching the guy next to Izzy who is getting a tattoo of a Golden Retriever on his arm.  His shirt is off; showing off abs that look like the abs Jesus has in paintings.

On our way out I mention to Izzy the Jesus abs and he says, “That’s interesting” and then I say, “Yeah, it is interesting”.

Riding the new tattoo high Izzy convinces me to go to a karaoke bar that is near Little Italy.  I point out that we just left that neighborhood, but all this does is lead Izzy to take off his shirt and make me look at Texas.  He refuses to put his shirt back on unless I accompany him.  The bar is named Villa something.  We grab a seat near the bar.  The whole scene looks like a supper club without food.

We order three rounds of Stellas and then I go outside to smoke.  It’s at this point when I realize this near drunken state is where I was around 10pm the night before.  I decide I will go back in and call it a night.  Back at the table Izzy has the song book open.  He is scanning the book with his eyes, his right hand moving down the page.  “You should sing this one”, Izzy points to the book.

Instead of sticking to my original plan I glance at the book.  “It’s My Way, Frank Sinatra.” Says Izzy.

“Oh I don’t think so”, I say, and then Izzy orders two more Stellas before I can stop him.

Izzy grabs a pad of paper where people sign up to sing.  “Did you know the New York Times reported that people in the Philippines actually murder people that do bad karaoke renditions of this song?”

I tell him “That’s interesting”, and he says, “Yeah, it is interesting”.

At the table next to us a girl wearing a fedora is listening to us.  She approaches and puts the fedora on my head, “You have to do My Way, I love that song”.  The fedora being placed on my head distracts me from Izzy signing me up to do the song.  When he comes back he tells me it shouldn’t be long.  The girls boyfriend joins her at the table, she explains why I’m wearing her fedora and he just laughs.

Apparently I wasn’t next to go on because it was two hours later when they called my name.  By this time I have consumed two more Stellas and “graduated”, as Izzy put it, to Jack and Cokes.  I believe I was on my third Jack and Coke.

I step up onto a small make-shift stage, the music starts and I immediately notice this large mafia looking man sitting in the front row.  He has his hair comb backed, a neutral expression, and is wearing dark glasses.  I clear my throat and begin.

And now the end is near; And so I face the final curtain

In the back I notice the girl and boyfriend are taking pictures and laughing.  Jesus Abs is entering the bar and making his way over to Izzy.

My friend, I’ll say it clear; I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain

Izzy and Jesus Abs are now comparing their tattoos.  Both their shirts are off.  I begin to feel extremely drunk and start to panic, my voice cracks.

I’ve lived a life that’s full; I’ve traveled each and every highway

The mafia guy now has a look of discomfort, I know this feeling well.  He begins looking back at the bar as if he wants them to pull the plug.  The girl and boyfriend are now in hysterics.  Other faceless patrons begin to laugh and yell.

And much, much, more than this, I did it my way

My head begins spinning; I begin to get my facts mixed up.  Did Izzy say New York Filipino bars?  Did I see a neon sign for San Miguel beer when we walked in?

Regrets, I’ve had a few; But then again, too few too mention

Izzy is now bent over, allowing Jesus abs to get a closer look at Florida.

I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption; I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway

Mafia guy stands up.  My life begins to flash before my eyes: Childhood, Family, Friends, and Cheeseburgers on Stone Street.

And much, much, more than this, I did it my way

The boyfriend yells something and the mafia guy reaches inside his jacket, presumably going for a gun.

Three hours later I wake up in the hospital.  There is a television hanging over my head.  PBS is on.  Izzy is there and I am still wearing a fedora.  He tells me I tried to lunge at the mafia guy in the front when he stood up to take out his glasses, but tripped on the microphone cord, falling to the ground and hitting my head on the floor.  Apparently I screamed, “I want another cheeseburger” on my way down. 

“I guess I did it my way” I say.

Izzy looks at me and says, “That’s interesting”.  I nod, “Yeah, it is interesting”.


David S. Grant is the author of Corporate Porn (Silverthought Press), Bleach|Blackout (Silverthought Press), Happy Hour (SynergEBooks), Emotionless Souls (Brown Paper Publishing), Hollywood Ending (SynergEBooks), The Last Breakfast (Brown Paper Publishing), and Rock Stars (Oak Tree Press).  In 2010 David's short story collection Lost Souls will be published by Brown Paper Publishing, and next novel, Blood-The New Red, by Silverthought Press.  For more information go to:



       Web Site: David S. Grant

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