Way back in the far corner where the dim lighting in the bar couldn't reachthe shadows, the bartender sat slumped in a chair, his aching feet restingatop a stack of Budweiser boxes. There hadn't been a customer for hours, andhe passed the time by chain smoking cigarette after cigarette while watchingthrough yellowing eyes the pavement outside the window and the fewabandoned buildings on the street. Every now and then a man or womanpassed on the sidewalk, and he'd wave. Sometimes the person waved back,other times they just ignored him. But for the most part he just sat therethinking about closing, and about his one room kitchenette and the bed thatawaited him there. On occasion he dwelled on the bar, his many years there.How he, like the bar, had once been young and filled with dreams. Now theywere both old, each living out the few years left to them. He wasn't a mangiving to soul searching, and never expanded upon the thought. Instead hejust supposed that was the way it should be, and went back to watching thestreet.An hour later he was still thinking about closing, the street outside andabout how much his dogs hurt even when propped up on the Budweiser boxes, when the bell on the door rang and a customer he recognized fromyears ago when the bar was hopping day and night entered. The guy mounteda stool and lay a ten dollar bill atop the once bright, but now dull sheen of theoak bartop. The guy waited a second, then yelled, "Anybody here?"As the bartender tried to remember the guy's name, he curiously watchedthe guy swivel his heard in search of him. The bartender knew the guycouldn't see him in the shadows and just sat there, half hoping the guy wouldleave. When the guy called out again, the bartender softly sighed, slid his feetoff the stack of Budweiser boxes and moved with a slow arthritic walk towhere the guy sat. As the bartender came out of the shadows, the guy gavehim a startled look. The bartender greeted the guy in a gravely whisper thatwas spoken so low that it almost died even in the quietness of the bar."I didn't catch that," the guy replied, then adjusted himself on the stool sohe was leaning close to the bartender."You're?""Frank. I used to come in here a years ago."