A Debatable Necessity by Bob Carlton

This story, of Bosley Clonninger, will contain no dialogue. Bosley's social ineptitude was such that to transcribe conversations involving him, if done with any degree of accuracy, is simply too painful. My apologies for the inconvenience. Also, little will be noted concerning his character since it was largely undeveloped at the time of the events in question. Speaking of events, the incidents in which Bosley was involved were such that they are of little interest to anyone in search of thrilling plot lines interspersed with exciting digressions and sprinkled liberally with complex and entertaining sub-plots. In fact, it must be admitted in advance of any attempt at narrative, that the life and times of Bosley Clonninger are, put simply, not particularly interesting.

Yet here we are, at what could be any moment within a given decade of his life, as he begins his nightly slide into a beer-induced stupor. There are the usual suspects present (Casablanca is his favorite movie): the sparse crowd of alcoholic rednecks, the occasional professional soon to be homeward bound (he has always had a soft spot for this particular Simon and Garfunkel number), and the regularly unique pleasure afforded by a new bartender. Today's model is a chunky, albeit curvy, blond with a day-saving smile and cute button nose that he could imagine giving a peck each day for the next two, maybe three hundred years at most before growing tired of it. As already stated, the transcription of introductions and attempts at witty repartee will be foregone. Ears have bled and tears been shed for less.

The candle of hope having once more been snuffed out for the evening, Bosley heads out into the darkness, to find his way home. The attentive reader will, at this point, no doubt feel that he or she has been shortchanged, gypped, snookered. Where is the resolution of conflict, the denouement, the expected epiphany? I would contend that there are heroes who exist only in the negative spaces, who save the day and rescue the damsel in distress by the mistakes they do not make. Like many drunks, Bosley Clonninger believes he drives better after a few drinks. Unlike most, for him this is actually true. Yours may be the life that is saved tonight because he is not someone else.

Bob Carlton lives and works in Garland, TX.