St Patrick’s Day

St Patrick’s Day

It was, that was then, it was, St. Patrick’s Day, 1984. Lower Greenville, with the catchphrase, “How low can you go?”

Pretty low. Springtime in Dallas. Early spring in north Texas, as they are wont to think of it. That was 35 years ago.


In town to tend to an ailing mum, and her new hip, I recalled, as the news did a puff piece on the expected crowds, then, and now.

  • It’s that rapid descent, not a short and easy slide, but a fast track to oblivion — those who’ve been before? They understand.

It was morning, and the cool air, dappled sun, the fragrant and aromatic blend of dumpster, vehicle fumes, and stale dive bar, itself a special combination of plugged toilets, emptied stomachs, last night’s spilled beer combined with — think about the time — Clove Cigarettes. It’s a special smell, like nothing else. The term “nauseating” doesn’t even begin to cover the horrifically ripe distinctive combination of disgusting elements.

As I recall, and I might not, it was Miller Lite, and after not drinking for a number of days, like three months or more, I opted to have about a half a cup of that draft. Rancid beer, really, not comfortable and was only marginally better than the viscous fluids gurgling down the gutter.

Serious transition, and I can recall, the moment, the taste, the warm, effervescent carbonation, the casual sunlight, and the traffic, pedestrian with sidewalks overflowing, and cars creeping.

For me, I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted. The noise didn’t stop. The beer, that morning, brought the briefest moment of relief, but sadly, that disappeared, in a hurry. Never stopped long enough to put this in perspective, either, but it was about a year later, the city, the county, and the state collided in getting a piece of me. Doors were shuttered, and the rest is history.

There was a blonde, a Sagittarius. We all share failings.

Already raised — and familiar with — misery and defeat, not one to look dismal failure straight in the face, I dug even deeper. Half-notions, grandiloquent gestures, fervid brains, burrowing through old receipts to find forgotten cash, anything.

Everything — pending legal actions, yeah all started with a sip of warm beer on bright Saturday morning, a St. Patrick’s day party of some sort.

Lower Greenville, with the catchphrase, “How low can you go?”

“Sunday Morning Coming Down,” only it was a Saturday. When one’s life resembles a country song? Perhaps too closely?

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