"Don't you think you had enough kid?" The gray bearded man asked.
"Yeah I guess so." Tommy replied. "This is great stuff."
"What's bugging you kid?" The bartender asked. "I've heard that bartenders make great psychologists."
"You wouldn't understand my problems." Tommy sighed. "I just came up here to get away from it all."
"Away from what all?" The bartender asked with a knowing smile.
"Responsibility, death, life in general." Tommy replied. "I better get to my car and get going."
"I don't think that's a good idea." The bartender replied. "You don't look like you can stand on your own two feet let alone drive."
"I'm fine old man." Tommy snapped as he stood up and then lost consciousness.
When Tommy came to, he heard the bartender talking to someone on the phone. Tommy groaned as he sat up and held his head with a screaming headache.
"You okay kid?" The bartender asked as he limped over with use from a cane. "You took a pretty bad hit on the head."
"Where am I?" Tommy asked.
"My back room." The man chuckled. "You spent the last 5 hours on my couch. You can't hold your liquor can you?"
"I guess I can't." Tommy sighed. "Man what a headache. I never did get your name."
"Joe Dawson." The bartender grinned as he held out his hand.
"Tommy Oliver." Tommy replied as he shook it. "Thanks for the couch Joe. And I really liked your music."
"Thanks and your welcome." Joe smiled. "Now you still feel up to telling me what is bugging you?"
"Sure why not." Tommy sighed. "I did want to run away from my life. It's really taken a toll on me."
"Yeah?" Joe asked. "High school that bad?"
"No it's not that." Tommy sighed. "Wait how did you know I was in high school?"
"I can spot a fake ID a mile away Tom." Joe chuckled. "But you looked like you needed a drink. I hope you learned your lesson."
"Oh yeah I definitely learned my lesson." Tommy chuckled. "Anyway it's not high school. It's other stuff."
"Like what?" Joe asked. "Girls?"
"Well yeah." Tommy sighed. "Three girls. One dumped me when she moved to Florida, one likes me but I'm not really interested, and the last one I don't like to talk about."
"That's bad." Joe sighed. "Did you like her?"
"Like her?" Tommy asked. "Oh I loved her. She was my best friend. She was something else. Sometimes I thought she wasn't real but a dream. She was... special. She never stopped moving. I really don't know how to describe her."
"She was like a river." Joe suggested.
"Yeah...." Tommy replied. "That's exactly what she was like."
Joe chuckled as he got to his feet and went over to the mini bar in the room. He came back with some coffee. Tommy took it and nodded a thanks to Joe. Joe smiled and sat down with a grunt.
"What's wrong with you legs?" Tommy asked.
"Nothing's wrong with my legs." Joe chuckled. "I don't have any."
"Oh sorry." Tommy blushed in embarrassment. "Can I ask how you lost them?"
"Stepped on a mine during Nam." Joe replied. "They had to amputate. I almost let it get me down."
"Sorry I snapped at you earlier." Tommy sighed. "If I had known...."
"Ah it's okay." Joe chuckled. "I got over that years ago. But I've seen your face before."
"You have?" Tommy asked growing suspicious. "Where?"
"In the mirror." Joe replied. "You lost something that meant a lot to you. I got a pretty good guess it was that girl."
"Yeah." Tommy said as he relaxed. "The one that was like a river.... It stopped. She died."
"It happens." Joe replied. "People die, things get lost to you, you start to lose yourself as you try to integrate a new way of life."
"That's exactly how I feel!" Tommy exclaimed. "I guess you do make a good psychologist."
"Thanks." Joe chuckled. "So where do you come from. If you don't mind me asking."
"Angel Grove." Tommy replied.
"You're a far way from home Tom." Joe smiled. "You really did want to get away from it all."
"Yeah I am." Tommy sighed. "It's real cold up here."
"Well we all can't live in sunny California where the worst thing that happens is an earthquake." Joe chuckled. "Some places are just as nice though."
"Well you really haven't heard a lot of news from Angel Grove then." Tommy replied sourly.
"No, I have a lot to do here in Seacouver. I work to jobs. Not enough time for other word news." Joe chuckled.
"Two jobs?" Tommy asked.
"Yeah Tom. I'm a bartender and a musician." Joe smiled.
"Oh yeah." Tommy replied. "I still have a hangover. I guess I'm still not thinking straight."
Joe shrugged as he took a sip from his coffee and let Tommy have a little bit of quiet to gather his thoughts. Tommy smiled as he let the coffee clear his system and looked around. He noticed that Joe didn't call him Tommy but Tom. It felt good to have some one older than him call him by a grown up name and not talk to him like a kid. He let his thoughts drift back to Kim, Kat, and Shana. He missed them all especially Shana and Kim. He snapped out of his thoughts when he saw Joe watching him with an amused smile.
Tommy looked at him, confused. "What's so funny?" Tommy asked.
"Well you remind me of two friends I have and you were chuckling." Joe replied. "What was so funny?"
"I was thinking about what my friend would say about me getting drunk and passing out." Tommy replied. "She would have kicked my ass."
"Yeah well getting drunk isn't the best thing for people." Joe replied. "And kids today think they are immortal."
"Yeah well who wants to live forever?" Tommy laughed bitterly. "I would hate to be immortal."
"Why's that?" Joe asked.
"Well seeing friends and loved ones die for one thing." Tommy replied. "And if I was immortal and became a drug addict or alcoholic I could really mess up my life and maybe kill someone else's."
"Yeah that's true." Joe smiled. "Good thing immortals aren't real."
"Yeah good thing." Tommy sighed as he thought of Zedd and Zordon. "Immortality would be real lonely."
"Tom it's getting early." Joe sighed. "If you want to you can spend the rest of the morning here. I need to get some sleep."
"You sure it's okay?" Tommy asked. "I mean I could sleep in my car or find a hotel."
"Trust me it's okay." Joe replied. "But before I go tell me about the girl who dumped you. Why did she do it?"
"She met some one else. Or so she says." Tommy replied. "I never said good-bye or told her how I felt. I feel like there was no closure. Like my friend who died, she was like a river."
"Ever think of sending her a song?" Joe asked.
"No...." Tommy replied. "Heck I can't even sing."
"Well maybe the songs you listen to aren't the kind your voice can sing to. Look tomorrow when I get back we'll try a song out and you can send it to the one who dumped you." Joe smiled. "I think I know the perfect song also."
"Okay. I'm open for it." Tommy replied as he laid back down. "Good-night Joe. And thanks for the open ear."
"You're welcome Tom," Joe replied as he walked out.
"Seacouver?" Kim said to herself as she looked at the writing. "Never heard of it. The writing looks like Tommy's. What's he doing in Seacouver?"
Kim opened the package and found that a tape was in it. She smiled as she
walked up to her room and read the letter. It was a letter from Tommy and
also a number and address to a bar called Joe's.
Hi. I know you might not want to hear from me after that letter but I felt that I needed some sort of closure. I know you must think I'm a dork for doing this but a friend said it might help. Anyway it's a song that tells you the way I feel about you. You'll hear my friend Joe Dawson in the background with the vocals and guitar. But it's my singing. And I think it's pretty good. Hope you like it. And even if you don't love me anymore I still love you and I am still your friend forever.
PS- The number and address is to Joe's bar. He told me that if you ever need advice or just a listening ear he'll talk to you. Trust me it's worth it.
Kim chuckled as she finished reading the letter. She then looked at the tape and popped it into her tape deck and played it.
You move with your own rhythm
Like tide on the river
Lightning on the Ponchatrain
The way you come to me at midnight
Warm and naked as the rain
What were you whispering down at Natchez
Cause it muddied up my mind
About some great ocean
Goint o make you leave it all behind
Well, no one ever loved that river
The way I love you.
You've got land above the salt line
Bougainvillea in your hair
The barges pole from New Orleans
You said you'd leave without a care
But the rumor on the river is
Anything that touches you will be free
But I know you can't be free
Well you can never leave this river
"Joe's blues bar this is Joe speaking," a friendly voice answered the phone....