I was standing at the bar at Harry's.
I ordered a beer, drank it, then ordered another with a whiskey chaser.
I looked around at my surroundings.
I was in a low lit, low life dive.
A mono jukebox pumped out the old hitsas I looked at the line of bottles along the bar a shadow moved across my line of vision.
Someone sat on the stool next to mine.
I looked round. It was Superman!
"Greetings, earthling, another drink?" He motioned to the astonished barman.
"Make that two doubles, go easy with the ice!" he boomed. "Listen sucker," he said to me.
"I've been watching you on X-ray for the last ten minutes. You fascinate me.
Maybe I'm wrong but it seems to me, right now nothing's going your way. Go ahead, drink!
That won't help you but what the hell? Barman!
Two more and don't be so stingy with the liquor - bring two beers as well."
Superman grimaced a little as he threw back his whiskey. "Jesus! That hits the spot."
He threw back the 2nd and smiled kind of sick before choking on the chaser.
"Arggh! You punks must be tougher than I figured. Hic! Much more of this and I could have problems flying home.
Hey, loosen up a little, don't you ever smile?" I felt constrained to grin.
Why me? I asked myself. All the bars in NY and Superman has to show up here.
Just then 2 women walked into the bar, arm in arm, laughing. They looked over and saw Superman sat back on his stool, shoulders slumped, slurping on a new beer. They were visibly suprised.
"Hi girls can I get you a drink? Hic! Me and the punk here are getting blotto superfast." He grinned. It was a crooked smile.
"But you are Superman, sworn to fight villains and gangsters, to protect honest citizens. Watcha doin' in here pushing back the booze?"
"You have a nail?" Superman turned to me.
I flipped him a Lucky 'n lighted him up. He began choking. "What does it matter why I'm here?. I'm here baby and it's your lucky day.
Bartend, take the girls order an' fresh drinks for me an' my buddy. Say," he leaned over the bar, "have you got somewhere I can store my cape for the duration of my stay, it's a little warm in here?"
"Sure I'll hang it on the door peg. Don't forget it!" "With Supermemory?"
Superman mused heavy on the irony.
Just then a cop ran in looking for robbers'd held up the bank a few blocks away but Superman didn't show much interest.
The cop ran out. "He'll probably make out fine on his own. Even Superman needs a day off occasionally!" "But what if all hell breaks out on his day off?" said Blondie.
"That's tough but sometimes you just get sick of helping folks out, you know what I mean , baby?" Blondie looked disgusted but her friend was smiling. "Hey, punk!" she was talking to me. "Who're you, Superman's friend? You sure as hell don't look like Jimmy Olsen."
"He's just one of the suckers." Superman explained."All his life he was waiting but one morning he looked in the mirror, saw this wasted middle-aged creep lookin' back at him and realized with a stab of horror his boat had pulled out.
That right, punk?" I agreed.
THAT didn't take much figuring. "Brother, you 'n me both are losers,"
Superman suggested,"it just don't look that way. At least the sucker here don't have to go pokin' his nose into other peoples business the way I have to.
At least he isn't a self-righteous pain in the ass, leastways not all of the time. Tee hee!" he nudged me playfully.
I almost fell off my seat.
"Boy, you don't offer much resistance. Barman!"
"I know, I know," grumbled the barkeep. You'd think he hated making money.
"Drinks all round and have one yourself this time, no doubt.
Don't you guys have no jobs to do?" He loked resentfully at Superman.
Obviously he would have prefered to have Superman out patroling the streets keeping crime in check.
I wondered what effect the booze was having on his Superpowers.
He looked as weakas a kitten. With supreme effort, I watched him pull himself together.
He walked out to the john. He was full of beer and piss. 5 minutes later a stanger looking suspiciously like Clark Kent walked out of the washroom, folded newspaper under his arm, whistling a happy tune.
On his way out he pressed a handfull of banknotes in my hand and winked. "Jesus, what a creep!"
Blondie intoned, and both girls pulled there stools up closer to mine.
Down the driven streets come the clash of feets.
It's unclassified, twisting out of reach
They were organized from somewhere else And when they showed in excelcius So wave the flag, Peacock Parade the crowded roar, MYSTERY MOTORCADE! Then I saw a star, hung above the lawns Stood in their car all uniformed Out of the crowd stepped a little girl
His voice ran loud all around the world Now everything, post JFK only a scream, at the Motorcade!