With a respectful nod to the late, great Jim Croce for the title

The door to the bar opened, spilling a little fresh air and a gringo inside.

A few of the locals looked up from their beers and their cards to study the gringo. He was young but not a boy. He was nicely dressed but not expensively. He was clean but he had been sweating in the southwestern heat. He was not one of them, but the pain in his eyes made him an honorary citizen of their little bar so they left him alone.

The gringo took a stool at the bar, leaving a few polite open spaces between himself and the other man sitting there.

“Una cerveza, por favor,” the gringo said. The bartender nodded his graying head and produced a lightly chilled bottle of beer. The gringo stared at it for a long time. At last he spoke quietly: “All the time I have left is in this bottle.” He picked up the beer and downed half of it.

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