Last Night, I Had a Beer with God

by David Russo

When my wife left me, in a matter of days the court had given her practically half of the state. I prayed for a few hours-mostly rambling-and decided to just be straight about it:

"God," I said "we need to talk."

It was ten to closing time when a portly gentleman in a dingy suit walked in and took a seat at the bar, glaring in my direction every now and then.  It took a while to see through my seven pints that this gentlemen looked very much like my estranged wife's father.

I never liked that whore's old man; he was such a critical and cynical bastard about my means.  Not all of us wanted to work nice, clean-cut white collar jobs; my old man raised railroad boys who worked long, hard and appreciated the value of sweat.

We exchanged glances.  Neither of us said a word for a few moments and his stern glare started to bother me.  I buried my face in my hands for a few seconds-in a sort of nondescript motion of exasperation.  When I looked back up he was sitting directly across.  He blinked a few times, and dusted off the rest of his drink.  I uncomfortably looked around for Shirley.

"So" he started, which troubled me enough to turn back around and make such focused eye contact that I did not even notice his glass was again full, "you wanted to talk?"