don’t take my advice

He was young, the barman

young and skinny with

dark hair and a face

you couldn’t read.

He’d served us for a long

time, months, maybe years,

I didn’t care to count,

but he’d served us for a good

long while. We’d not seen him

for weeks

and then he was there

hair neat and short,

smart shirt, spruced.

He’d been at university, thinking

about his future.

He was a student,

finance or something,

and he’d hated it. He was

going to pack it in. Don’t

do what makes you

miserable,

I said. Do what you like.

You’ll have to

face enough shit

in your life without

working at it.

I know.

But don’t take my advice,

I said. Make your own

mistakes.

That’s where the fun is.

That’s living.

Thanks for the advice,

he said.

I didn’t know I’d

given any.

Duty

Do your duty, boy

Step up to the mark and work

That’s all you’re here for