YOU'RE IN THE BOX NOW!

Charlie writes, You’re in the box now! underneath a caricature of me, in a box, screaming. I tell him he’s had enough to drink and he tells me to fuck off and mind my own business. But I admire Charlie’s work so I tell him that I am minding my business and that he has to go.

He sneers at me and I glance at the regulars in the corner, ready to spring into action at the slightest provocation. 

Charlie stands up and walks over to the window where he left his coat. It hangs on a hook above a table packed with Young Professionals. Charlie looks like a dinosaur among them - a T-Rex in a forest of mice.

He lurches up to the table and in a surprisingly graceful move, vaults himself on top of it. He reaches out for his coat and my heart leaps up into my throat as he pitches into, and then through the window and out onto Mulberry Street.

Glass everywhere-window pane, beer pints, glitter from a bachelorette’s tiara.

Charlie stands up and brushes himself off. His head is bleeding and he shakes it, saying awww fuck over and over again, splattering blood onto the pavement. He looks at his drawings blowing into the street and ambles out, halts traffic, yells for someone to pick the fucking things up!

Cars stop, horns blare. Charlie pauses, grunts and then bends down, gathering them into his arms like misbehaved children.

From eleven until four AM, a steady breeze blows in through the windowless front of the bar, making me shiver all night long.