I believe the time has arrived to bid you and the rest of the stumbling pub crowd adieu. It’s true that once not too long ago I gazed upon that storied scene with such fondness, but now it has been coated in a viscous oil that dampens my spirits whenever I cross that precarious threshold, and darkens the days that follow with a haunting reluctance. Even the warning sign on the door mocks me now. If unheeded, how quickly it delivers its scorn! Aye, Henderson! To see these words from my own hand and know them to be true! How vexing it must be for you as you read, knowing that just weeks or days ago I was pontificating that shadowy corner nook down the lane as an extension of my own home and those within as close a family as I’ll ever have! It’s bullocks, I tell you! And now, when I think about the faces that I see walking through the door on any given day, propped up on stools in a dour-making formation around the bar, how they are always the same desperate lot spewing the same desperate dirges, how the cycle of debauchery perpetuates itself always to the same end of addled drunken catatonia with no remorse and no accountability in that dingy blackened hollow of brick and mortar, I feel myself on the rim of that same repugnant vortex getting sucked out with perfunctory bluntness like the brains of a skewered mud bug on Fat Tuesday. Mark my words, old man. I’m through.