Tuesday, February 13, 2007

burgandy


I just want to post. I want to post as if it will save my life. I want to post as if it will lift a curse. I want to post as if it will ensure my passage into heaven. I want to post as if there is nothing else in the world to do. So I will.

Tonight I worked the bar. It was slow for the first few hours. Barely anybody came in at all. One employee and a couple of his friends. They stopped by for a drink before heading to a comedy show in the lower east side of the city. It was cool because they were in good spirits, so they knocked a few back while we gabbed about horror movies then they left a good tip and bounced to the laugh shack. [Its not called the laugh shack, that’s not the name of the club. I forget what it’s called, so I decided to name it the laugh shack. I just made that shit up on the spot. I'm quick witted like that. I thought you already knew?]

Then an older gentleman came in and ordered a short pint and a Jack Daniels, neat. For some reason I gave him a full pint instead and poured a healthy amount of whisky. I don’t know why, I wasn’t feeling particularly generous. But he seemed like a good guy and he was the only patron I had so you know, I hooked him up. Just out of loves sake. He protested a bit, just for show. To make a gesture, and I found myself appreciating it. I thought it was cool and warmed to him a bit more.

My boss, who was working as my “bar manager.” (which is a very unique position that involves a circus of duties, ranging from security guard to bar back to dishwasher to actual manager shit like counting the drawer at night and delivering the money to the box), is a hot black chick that’s studying to be a science teacher. She’s been there since the place opened so knows intimately, every single regular. She started up a casual conversation with him.

I am still sort of nervous around the regulars, but I can read them now, so I know who they are even before I recognize them. Thing is, the regulars are the bar. They are the blood in the veins of the bar. They make the bar breathe. So I always feel that I should, if nothing less, always get along with the regulars. I don’t have to be best friends with them, but I just gotta know the score. I've got to be able to brace myself. Adjust my mode. I've got to find the regulars. I've got to see them. Aside from making drinks, it’s pretty much my whole job. So I clocked that this guy was a regular. Maybe he didn’t come in there all the time, but he was loyal to the place. This was his haunt. And I sat back and let him and her speak for a while, while I nervously polished glasses. I just listened. Trying to get the score.

He had a wife who was dying. She only had a few more days. It all had come as a shock to them. She lived a healthy life. She didn’t eat “weird foods,” and even exercised a lot. About ten years ago she got diagnosed with lymphoma. They had battled it, but they knew it was terminal. Recently she’d gotten a stem cell operation. I don’t know exactly what it was called, but doctors said it would give her a least a few more years of “good living.” But when they ran test afterwards they saw it didn’t take, and she only had a few days left, and that was it.

The elderly gentleman, I forget his name, let this all unfold in a very calm, natural, and even sort of spirited tone. Both me and the boss were concerned, but I stayed quiet, and she asked him how he was taking all of this. He said he was shocked, but beyond denial. He said he was involved with anger now, and he said it with a kind smile. It didn’t make me anxious, but sort of sad. He said he had come to the bar because there was nothing for him to do at home, he couldn’t visit her now. He could only wait. He didnt say it, but I could tell, the whole situation was going to leave him unhinged. They had been married over 25 years.

he only had those two drinks, then he said his good byes and i shook his hand and told it it had been nice meeting him, even if the circumstances were painted in gloom. later on a small crowd piled in. A recently split couple tried working out their problems over a glass of white wine and a pint of sam adams. a freind stopped in and we discussed theories about the show Lost. I never found the time to eat the food I ordered, so just put it in the fridge and ate it when i got home.

In other news:

  • I still haven’t seen Children of Men, but it’s on my list of things to do.
  • I'm so busy that I had to postpone Valentines Day. Its now going to fall on the 20th, that’s the earliest time I could pencil it in.
  • Working at a bar has injected a surge of creativity into my alcoholism.
  • I still enjoy Ol’ English 800 though. I admit it; I'm an 8 ball junky.
  • My house is built on a slant and my chairs always roll away from my desk when I'm typing. It’s totally annoying.
  • I don’t care about a bunch of stuff.
  • Christina Ricci is too skinny. I'd still bone her though.
  • War.
bah.

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Creative Commons License
:gray matters: by jkg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at downtownalleys.blogspot.com.