Oregon Tavern Age: Martinis and Gravy

I sat at the bar of an OTA joint and drank a beer. Outside, a homeless man sat on a bench and smoked a cigarette while reading a Zane Grey Western.

A crap show played on television. An OTA woman gambled in a far corner. I had my writing materials with me but wasn’t feeling it. Torpor hung in the air and in my mind.

The female OTA bartender shook up a martini. She strained it into a glass and then took it over to an OTA man sitting in booth and eating a massive spread of biscuits and gravy slathered in Tabasco sauce. He’d just finished his first martini.

So, here was an OTA man drinking martinis and eating biscuits and gravy on a weekday afternoon and I knew I would use this observation in a novel I write at a later date.

The man drained the martini in one prodigious gulp. He got up to pay and turned toward me. I said to him, “Martinis and biscuits and gravy for lunch” because I couldn’t think of anything else to say.

“Tanqueray’s my middle name,” he said, smiling

I laughed.

I knew I would use this line in a novel I would write at a later date.

He paid his bill then sat down on a stool in front of a slot machine and began playing. It was then I noticed he was wearing tan shorts and black loafers with no socks. I knew I would use this image in a novel that I would write at a later date.