It’s been a no good day. You sit, your arms resting on the bar, hands resting on an empty glass. It’s late. The barman walks past and you push the glass toward him with a nod.
“Not your night?” He says in a voice that says he doesn’t care as he pours.
You take the glass without meeting his eyes and he moves to your right and says “what’llitbe” to shape slumped over the bar next to you. You barely register what the shape says in return. Something about the voice, though…
In a couple of drinks time you know for your own sake you should hit the road. As you turn away from the bar you look around you and notice the lump to your right is still there. It moves and a head lifts, bringing with it the smell of bourbon. Large white eyes blink and focus, blue, matted fur sticks up at odd angles. He sees you.
“bruuh..” it wobbles on its stool “uh.. hu..heyyous.. Iknow you…” the voice is cracked and raspy but still familiar, still the same. A shock runs through your body. You never thought you’d see him again.
“Oh. Hi.” You respond, looking at your feet.
He seems to suddenly be aware of his appearance, looks down at himself, his paws self consciously touching his head and chest.
“I.. you werend meand to see thish..” he begins, staring fixedly at a bottle behind the bar, but still swaying on his seat. He opens his mouth to say more but you cut him off.
“Yeah. Don’t worry about it. It’s late.” As you stand he touches your arm and says “wait.. please”
“What?” you ask, your voice colder than you first intended.
“Jusht.. jusht give me a second.” He looks up at you, squinting as he tries to focus.
“I need… Oh man… I need to tell you… to exshplain”
He belches and the stench is enough to make your eyes water.
“You need to take a shower, that’s what you need.” You try to leave again but he holds your arm tighter.
“But.. buddiiwash.. I wasshh.. and we were.. You ushed to love me…” at this statement he seems to slide into a sort of reverie and his paw slips from your sleeve. His eyes half close and his head nods forward. You shake your arm completely free, turn and begin walking toward the door, disgust on your face.
Suddenly he’s at your side, grabbing your jacket, looking into your face, his huge mouth contorted, pleading.
“Please. Please. Tell me what I can do.. Please!”
Mildly panicked, you try to pull free but he’s holding fast and the barman is nowhere in sight.
“There’s- There’s nothing you can do.. you’ve got to let me go.”
“But.. you.. you weren’t meant to see this. And (hic)now you hate me.”
Fury suddenly rises within you and you smack his blue fingers off of your lapels.
“Now? NOW I hate you? Are you kidding me?! I did worship you, man. I did. I WORSHIPPED YOU. And you…”
He looks bewildered and hurt at your shouting but you can’t stop yourself.
“I trusted you. And you betrayed me!!”
“Please, stop. I’ll do anything.. don’t-“ he is crying now, huddled beneath you as you stare down at him in contempt.
You start to walk towards the door again, but the years you’ve wondered and cried and missed him and hated him for that all rise up in you and make you turn back before reaching it and scream across the empty bar at the small blue mess now propped against a table.
“Cookies are a SOMETIMES food?!”
You shake your head, your confusion and anger blurring your vision.
“What the hell happened to you?”
He is looking at you with horror in his eyes and one paw over his mouth. With a broken sob he crumples to the floor, emptied.
You stand, breathing fast, then you wipe your eyes and pull your jacket tighter around you as head out into the night.
You are shaking your head as you walk away from the bar. At the end of the block you pass four shapes that are oddly familiar and pause and let your eyes follow them as they hesitate at the doorway to the bar. One of them looks back at you and slowly lifts a three fingered hand to wave. Turtles.
Definitely a no good night.
*Nods head slowly with a frown of deep understanding*
Cookies belong on the daily diet for sure. For shame Cookie Monster! For shame…
I still remember where I was the first time I heard about his sellout.
It was rough on all of us.