Sunday, February 09, 2014

I am the World and it Ends Tonight.

 I am the World.  And it ends tonight. <---Read this first

I need more friends that drink. Drinking with friends gives me the peace of mind you get when you're alone.

I take a walk.  I hope a walk would clear my head.  I walk toward my neighborhood bar and watch as the Sun beams it's last friendly smile down at me.  Feel the cool winter breeze on my skin.  I walk alone because I like feeling the insular protection of my singlehood.

As I walk past the local bar I know, I see a tattered eviction notice plastered to front of it's doorway. Just like the dwindling sunlight it's all gone now.  We've traded in locals bars for "brands" and upscale snobbery.

If I am going to drink at a bar tonight I'll have to walk to another bar.  The next closest bar is a few minutes away along a dying former interstate. The smell of exhaust fumes is thick along my walk.  I see cockroaches, but none scurry away from me.  They own these streets.  The roaches are bigger than mice. I keep my head down most of the way so I can keep track of them.  I don't like to step on them.

The next bar is more of a college bar.  It has some brand new outdoor patio.  I think I will sit on the benches and type my story here.  The beer is cheap and cold.  The bartender is usually pretty, but ignores me.  I used to think she had vacant eyes.  But I think the vacancy sign is reserved only for some.  For me there are no lights on and no open beds to rent.

I want to drink a lot of beer tonight. I don't want to have to order multiple times, so I order several beers at once.  The bartender frowns at my order.  I think I must have done something improper. I guess I should not order so many beers at once.  She confirms my suspicions when she asks me if I could, "just order one beer."  

I unfold my dollars carefully.  I count them out to her.  That way she will know I am not stiffing her.  She does not wait, but instead turns around to see to another order.  After pouring my beer she absentmindedly grabs my cash and stuffs it in the register.  I can't tell if she took my tip or not.  Then she sits down at the other end of the bar, far away from me near the window, and next to a pile of textbooks she is studying.  I wait to watch her take her seat and pick up her iPhone before I head over to one of the empty tables.  Each table has two benches made from scrapyard lumber and painted with one to few coats of "rustic" red paint. 

I don't really like this bar.  What the world really needs is more neighborhood bars.  Cramped rat holes with room for only six or eight people.  Low lights that you bump into on the way back from the filthy bathroom.  A place full of real drunks.  People who have stopped carrying what they look like to others and live only to drink.  I want the world to have more people like me.  Functional, but broken.  People should give up on their dreams.  They should go to work and save just enough to drink every night.  Go home afterwards and shower.  Don't talk to your spouses or children.  Just go to the bar and get drunk.  Maybe don't even to talk to anybody while you're there.  At the bar no one cares that you have problems.  Everybody at a bar has a problem.

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