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A small,grime streaked steel town. Hanging on by the skin of its teeth. Boarded-up storefronts and a rundown store 'DICK'S BAR'. Chipped paint. Old beer posters and a few pathetic customers.

My regular customer drains his beer,tosses down a quarter then starts to leave. But I stop him short at the table.

"Um,excuse me? You forgot something".

He turns around looking at me dumbly. I hold onto the bar rag tightly placing my other hand onto my hip raising my eyebrow. He then shoves his hands into his pockets.

"No,that's your tip".

I laugh bitterly."huh. See that's funny--you and I must do math completely differently, cause me? I start with six beers I brought you, add the four spills I cleaned up,the five times I refilled your peanuts,plus the four times you 'accidentally' touched my ass, then I tack on lying to your wife when she called looking for you,twice, and I come up with a sum that's a hell of a lot more than twenty-five cents".

Before he can respond we are joined by Robyn. And I inwardly roll my eyes.

"She's just teasing,John. You go on home now, and tell Cher I said hi".

John then left as Robyn picked up the quarter.

"It's better than nothing".

"Nothing's cheap. A quarter is an insult".

"It'll cover half a load down at the Spanky Clean".

I scoff."there's only one thing a quarter is good for".

I walk over to the back of the room passing a geezer sitting by himself, drinking alone.

"Now you know how Rick feels about that".

I stop looking over at her looking around.

"Rick isn't here".

She looked around nervously."he could come back any second".

I shrug popping the quarter into the machine choosing Amy Winehouse's 'stronger than me'.

"You should be stronger than me. You've been here seven years longer than me. Don't you know use spose to be the man. Now pay a little comparison to who you think I am."

I sang walking over to Robyn. She shook her head giggling.

"You have an amazing voice..you should get out of here, make something of yourself".

I nodded walking right past her. Everything she said was true. I was to good for this place. I didn't want to sound cocky but it was how I felt and what many people told me. I wanted to fulfill my dreams and that was exactly what I'd be doing by the first thing in the morning.


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