The wall behind him carried deep green bottles with every liquor label I could care to name. All long since emptied of joy. One sprouted weeds from a whitish silt while more carried exteriors of fine powders as if library books stood centuries in immortal poses.
“You have an order, or…?” the bartender said with indifference. He did not even look me in the face.
I handed him an invoice printed on yellowed paper for six different bottles. He muttered and collected the stepladder to reach the top shelves. A heavy clumping came on the barwood and sheets of skin bobbed like mushroom caps in fungal brew and eyeballs floating in clear solutions swayed and stared darkly behind the glass. Further down came tangible sculptures of tibia fragments or crumbled cuneiform corked up among handfuls of iron nails.
“Fine stuff, these,” the tender spoke through the cracks in his voice.
I brought the crate to my idling lorry outside. The loading bay floor glinted and clinkered with a hundred bottlenecks in cardboard and plastic crates.
One more bar to visit. Then I would start sorting them for the pieces of Dad.