Post-war Lewis

Drawing by: Diana Gorab – Pencil drawing

Every morning, Lewis rushes down his old apartment skipping stairs with a Viceroy hanging from his lips. He goes into the same old barber shop stroking his blonde mustache.
“Good morning, Mr. Carl, I would like a new haircut.”
“Lewis, you are bald. This is the third time this week you come in asking for a haircut,” the barber replies.
“Ha-ha, very funny, Mr. Carl. I think I’ll try the Mohawk this time.”
The barber goes on pretending to cut Lewis’ hair, snapping his scissors left and right, cutting air and time all at once. Satisfied with his Mohawk, Lewis pays the barber, puts his thick glasses back on, and heads to his girlfriend’s house. He knocks on the door with Bob Dylan’s music pumping in his ears, waiting for it to open like a kid on a Halloween night. And as he waits, he remembers the time he passed out in a bathroom after getting drunk at a party. No one comes for the door.
“She must be at her friend’s place,” he says to himself in a cracking voice as he walks away from the door step.
He strolls down the street heading towards his favorite old bar.  There he’ll have his usual Budweiser. On his way he passes by the same old oak tree which reminds him of his dad. His dad was a soldier in the US army, and that is why Lewis hates war and Germany.
A tear trickles down his cheek and hides in his blonde mustache as he passes by the oak tree. His blue eyes sparkling in the sun, reminiscing the times his dad would take him for ice cream on Sundays under that oak tree. But those Sundays are long gone, and all that’s left are sunny days to have beer and wait for his dad. I’ll give you a little hint: Lewis’ dad is having wine with Jesus. Lewis just refuses to acknowledge the fact that there won’t be any ice cream Sundays no more. It seems that at times of war, ice cream turns into wine, wives turn into widows, and Lewis turns the other cheek instead of facing the facts.

Walking to his favorite old bar, Lewis ends up at a fancy restaurant. He thinks to himself that the place had some serious renovations lately. The dart board is gone, the pool table is now a salad bar, and the music is too Jazzy for his ear drums. The waiter comes.
“I’ll have the usual,” says Lewis.
The waiter wears a confused look on his face, like a kid in math class. Lewis feels unwelcomed in his favorite bar, leaves the place, and heads back home while having his daily strawberry ice cream. He arrives to his old apartment with his trusty Viceroy hanging from his lips, takes off his old shoes and socks and throws them in his wife’s dusty closet alongside her dusty dresses. He sets his alarm to the same old time before going to bed. Lewis sleeps alone in a double bed. He hugs the pink pillowcase tightly as he sleeps. Every night he dreams of a swastika being carved into the same old oak tree.

The next morning, Lewis gets up, brushes his teeth, puts his thick glasses on, and rushes down to the barber shop.
“Good morning, Mr. Carl. I would like a new haircut. I think I’ll try the Mohawk this time.”

Author: Ibn Rishdi

I am not great.

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