They sat around the bar, talking of smuggling, fishing and sex. Men without women, a collection of Hemingway heroes.
The old English officer who met the Queen. Sipping his gin and tonic. Gently. A kiss at a time. He says little, but with ‘rather’ and ‘indeed’ he agrees with everything.
The two ex-mercenaries. Tall, bald, aging warriors. They have seen action in a hundred Sub-Saharan battlefields. They fought in all African conflicts between ’61 and ’79. They drink freely, great gulps of beer and cider. They have much to drink for. Much to celebrate. Much to forget.
The hunter. One of the most fearsome Africa has seen in decades. A killer with a conscience. He stirs his brandy and coke with his finger. The ice rings on the glass. He never seems to drink it. He just sits there, stirring. Propping his head up with his other hand. Ever stirring, never drinking.
But the glass was empty again and he asked me for another.
At the bar, wiping a glass, Dylan playing, singing:
“How does it feel? To be on your own? With no direction home? Like a complete unknown? Like a rolling stone?”
You smile to yourself. It’s not so bad, Bob, it’s not so bad.