The Path to Django’s Bar


It was happy hour in Django’s Bar on the corner of Fifth and Main
I met my lovely lady there, her name is Sarah Jane.
I remember that day; it was really hot; much too hot to think
That’s why I walked down to Django’s Bar to get a cooling drink.

The barman there was ‘Lucky Jim’; don’t know how he got his name.
It was through his repertoire of cocktails that he rapidly rose to fame.
His knowledge was extensive; and his smile, it would light the night
As for the regular patrons; Jim would greet them all on sight.

So, back to that sultry summer day; those many years ago
I locked my office and took the stairs to gain the street below.
Even though Mayor Giuliani had cut crime to the bone,
I was still a little wary when out walking on my own,

As soon as I hit the sidewalk I was ambushed by the heat
Swathes of shimmering illusion swept on down the street
As I walked through those columns of hot distorted air
I was reminded of the mirrors at Coney Island fair

My office was off Columbus on 62nd West
I figured taking the Park route would suit my journey best!
Soon I was in Central Park; it was cool beneath the trees
Off the lake blew a refreshing but light summer breeze.

The thirst had dimmed my senses, I forgot to be aware
And walked into a cavernous, Latino muggers lair
It was in that dim-lit underpass that the six materialized
Roller bladed villains; whose intent was not disguised!

Their leader rolled up to me; in his hand he held a knife
He sneered and spat into my face saying; “do you value life?”
I hit him hard; an uppercut, that knocked him to the floor
As he fell I took his knife; although my fist was sore.

I was shocked by my reaction, but I did not let them see
Even with their leader down, they could overpower me.
The head man, he just lay there, his eyes remained closed tight
I was battling my emotions, in need to end the fight

The others; they just stood there, a chicken without a head
I took a step towards them and thankfully they fled.
Neither braggart nor hero; no one more surprised than me
I looked down at that broken youth; now swaying on one knee.

The odds had changed, the sneer had gone; fear was in his eyes
My dad had always told me “use the element of surprise.”
With a glare and a stare and a gesture, I sent him on his way
But I kept the knife to remind me of the escape I’d had that day!

I waited until I could no longer hear his skates upon the tar
And then I continued my journey on the road to Django’s Bar.
And I thought of Mayor Giuliani and his ‘no tolerance to crime’
I wondered how many others had had an experience just like mine.

The adrenalin stopped pumping; I was calming after the fight
My thirst by now raging but the bar was just in sight
I arrived ten minutes later, the air was hot and still
Lucky Jim looked up and shouted;”Hi, how ya doin Phil?”

I fought my way up to the bar and said, “Jim, man, quench my thirst.”
He said, “Hold on just a minute Phil, whilst I serve this lady first.”
The lady she was stunning and she just took my breath away.
Although rude in the extreme; I could have stared at her all day!

I leaned across and asked. “Can I pay Jim for your drink?”
She said, “sorry but the answers no. What would my husband think?”
I muttered my apologies, ashamed of my reckless guile
Even though her verbal slap was delivered with a smile.

I turned to look at Lucky Jim, who was grinning from ear to ear
I said “you can forget the cocktail; just get me an ice-cold beer!”
Jim shook his head and smiled into an ice-cold glass
I’m sure that he felt my chagrin but let the moment pass.

The beer was long and cold and slaked my aching thirst
I was about to get another but the lady got there first.
I offered my apologies; my clumsiness shining through
She said. ‘Apology accepted’; now tell me what you do.

I told her I ran my business out of 62nd West
Explaining that I helped good folk, with money to invest.
Then please help me, she said. A damsel in distress
Since my poor dear husband died my finances are a mess!

We found a quiet corner and Jim sent over drinks
Now and then I would catch him giving me ‘knowing winks’.
She told me of her husband, she said his name was Joe.
We swapped our own life histories till Jim said, time to go!

I walked her to her apartment block along Fifth Avenue
I asked if we could meet again, we arranged next day at two
We soon became an ‘item’ and we were married within a year
When we go down to Django’s bar Jim smiles from ear to ear.


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