O Bartender! My Bartender!

He planned to go down with his ship.  A good Captain always does.  He didn’t realize others would go with him.  He didn’t realize how fast a ship can sink.  He didn’t realize a lot of things.  But here he is.  Standing outside his bar.  His hands in his pockets and eyes towards the sky.  He reminisces.

They were all here.  Other bartenders.  Waitresses.  Cooks.  Customers.  Patrons.  The regular drunks.  All here.  Drowning in a pool of shared tears.  This was home to them, and they were all about to be homeless.  There’s Richard.  A long-time regular.  An old man who looks even older.  You can tell Rich has lived a thousand lives upon a thousand more.  It’s hard not to wonder how many lives he has left.  And his talk.  That’s the real wonder.  How Richard, The drunk.  Richard, The racist.  Richard, The Sexist Dumbass, deadbeat fuck, never got shot for pissing someone off.  Everyone in this bar has thought about it at one time or another. He’s still here.  Reminiscing.

And Sammie.  She’s here too, but this time she’s alone.  Sammie is young and pretty.  Younger for this bar.  I bet she’s around thirty.  Maybe thirty-five.  Usually Sam comes with a guy by her side.  Each night a new male chaperone that we all assume she’s fucking. Some of her men come back.  Some don’t.  Some are younger.  Some are old.  But this night, Sammie was here on her own.  Reminiscing.

I see Jay sitting in a corner.  The Heroic Stoic.  Always waiting for someone to drink too much so he can save them.  He won’t have to wait long tonight.  I think a lack of chaperones combined with the grief of losing her home has made Sammie a rare form of drunk.  I assume she’s on drugs too.  She has been in the bathroom for almost ten minutes now.  Jay is getting nervous.  I wonder if he will elicit another woman to check on her, or if he will have to go in himself.  He has a complex hero-complex.  And I am glad for that tonight.  We will all need a little rescuing after all this reminiscing.  And Although everyone hates Richard, Sam’s a whore and Jay is annoying;  They are all here, loyal to this ship and loyal to their bartender, their captain.  They know it’s not just his ship.  It is their ship too, so If he goes down, they all go down.  Reminiscing…

The Bartender leans back and listens, story after story all being told at once.  He can barely single one out.  They have started to blend together, much like time does, into one long narrative…

(To Be Continued…)








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