The newest installation of Prime Number Magazine, Prime Decimals 23.3, has just gone live, and it’s got flash fiction, poems, and a short essay to delight you while you wait for the next issue. Below is the beginning of flash piece “Bars and Their People,” by Jim Ruland.
Bars and Their People
Men who go to bars. Men who go to bars to drink. Men who go to bars to meet women. Men who go to bars to watch sports. That’s pretty much it. That covers all the bases. There are people people and TV people and sports people and miscellaneous deviants who like sex and drugs and rock ´n´ roll. But in the end they are men.
They sit at the bar until their bellies are swollen. Sometimes they play darts. Mostly they sit and look at the women. They look at their telephones. They look at the television. They look at the pool game not in progress. These are all things to look at while not looking at the women.
Some men drink to be companionable. Some men drink to find courage. Some men drink to be more like men they would like to be. They loiter under the low wattage light of a high definition TV screen broadcasting scores they only wish they could pretend they didn’t already know.
Men who drink in bars look without searching, seek but never find.
Why is it always this way? The answers are in the past, but it’s easier to blame the women.
Women who go to bars to drink. Women who go to bars to smoke. Women who go to bars to be watched by men. Women who go to bars for a piece of ass. Women who find what they are looking for. Women who get more than they bargained for.
Like a disease.
Like an unemployable musician in between apartments.
Read the rest of this story and find more great literature here!