excerpt from ????


“all I know is Stosh asked Lee if he wanted a job helping him with the horses but Lee told Stosh he hated horses so Lee picked up his stuff and left town for parts unknown. Somebody said they might’ve seen a guy that looked like Lee logging for an outfit in Seeley Lake. Only this guy that looked like Lee had a beard and long hair so I don’t think it was Lee. Lee hated hippies.”

Gene looked across the bar and into the mirror. He seethed inside while looking back at himself- disgusted and bored. Gene listened to Pauline tell him again for the umpteenth time that she didn’t know where Lee was. Every time she told him there was a new twist where somebody said something and Gene just couldn’t listen to it anymore.

“Somebody, who?” Gene asked

“I don’t know. Just some guy who rolled into town all drunk and high.”

“what did he look like?”

“Like an asshole.” Pauline said. “He looked like an asshole- just like you and every other creep who comes in here. You all look like assholes to me. You want to know what he looks like? Look in the mirror. That’s what he looks like.”

Gene took another drink and glanced at the mirror. Pauline was right. He did look like an asshole.

Gene walked outside the Bonner Bar and lit a smoke. He wanted somebody to tell him it was going to be alright and that Lee was coming back to town with the money and he wanted to hear Lee tell everyone that logging was on the rise again but logging was finally dead and Gene knew it.  The mill was closing down and Marvin Purvis at the bar last week said there might be work in Juneau but Gene checked that out and there was no truth to it. Gene sat down on the curb with his beer and his cigarette and watched the sunset across the dirt and gravel parking lot. A cut over hillside glowered across the gash of river that led into the valley of the Clark Fork River with its torn down dam and the rock face of the blast cuts from the dam builders creating a froth of brownish white just before the wood debris eddied out into a swirl of backwash.

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