gonna party like its...
It is my birthday and I’m five shots deep into my shift. I walked in an hour late after spending the day with her, the only one I wanted to spend the day with. We were at a bar in between my house and my job and I drank five bloody marys trying to calm my nerves. She bought the first few rounds and I bought the last because even though it was my birthday I didnt want to burden her. She also brought me a pear crisp she’d made and put a candle in it and quickly sang the happy birthday song while the candle flame bent and flickered in the wind. I closed my eyes and wished love upon me and opened them and blew the flame out and looked up at her, her face surrounded by the clear autumn azure, and said thank you and smiled and meant every bit of it. When it was time for me to leave and head to work we both sighed and hugged and parted ways and I watched as she walked into the distance but she didn’t look back.
By the fifth shot my boss is clocking me from the side of her eye and she pulls me to the back and says she is leaving but will return, and when she does I can quit my shift and sit on the other side because by then I wouldn’t be able to get any work done anyway. She was right and I agreed and just then someone points at me and says, “come on, lets get you a shot,” and I tell her I have to leave and walk back to the bar. It is another regular, they are all regulars, and he knows my poison is whiskey. We raise our glasses to my old age and swallow them down. This happens repeatedly all night.
A girl I’ve had my eye on is with her friend and I decide to ignore her because who wants the trouble. She orders a few glasses of wine and I pour them with barely any words. When she says happy birthday I smile and say thank you. The music is loud and I’m screaming at customers while pouring beer from the taps. The football game is on and there is a crowd around the tv and every now and again you hear cheers and groans and the fans above blow my tips all over the place. The girl asks for her tab and I give it to her. Before she leaves she hands me her number and says, “you should call me some time jon.” I say I will and I really will but right then I’m too drunk to say anything more clever.
The night wears on and there is more cake and more candles and more flames bending and more wax dripping and more shots more shots more shots. The boss comes back and I get on the other side and people are slapping me on the back as if I won something. The home team is winning and all the devils advocates are cursing at the flat screen. It isn’t a wash out, even worse, a last second field goal that seals the game. I wonder what shes doing then —her— and who she exchanged text with while we drank our bloody marys. I push it from my mind and tell someone to buy me another shot. Afterward I go out for a cigarette and strike up conversation with another girl. Drunk but fluid I flirt with subtlety. She bites and I leave before it can go any further.
Towards the end of the evening the redhead comes in and she is carrying another tray but she doesn’t have candles and a sheet of foil covers it. I ignore her too, delaying the trouble until later. A few more friends buy me shots and by this stage the whiskey is swimming in my blood. Just like her and just like my history and just like the words that make up my history. Stumbling, I slur my good byes and I go outside and the redhead is standing there with the tray of mystery and I hail us a cab because at that point what else am I to do. In the back seat on the way home she tells me the girl I flirted with outside is interested in me and wants more of me. I laugh and say well then maybe she can have it there aint much of me left anyway. It is a spectacular weekend night and I hope I remember it in the morning.