I'm standing behind the bar at the tavern. Nirvana's "Lake of Fire" is playing. There are not many customers. I recognize everyone in here. A party of 9 is sprawled out at 10 having sampled at least eleven different kinds of beers by now. The bar is filled with a mix of people who work here and people who know we work here. I've got maybe 45 minutes or so until I can cash out the drawer and get on with my own evening.
Now the music switches to a song by the Kooks that I've never actually heard in its entirety. I've only heard in snippets from a podcast I used to listen to from Virgin Radio, now known as Absolute Radio. The song is called "She moves in her own way" the title of which couldn't be more appropriate, especially on a day when the process of my divorce has begun.
I know you're not supposed to talk about such things in polite company, but this little box is my chance to tell the world what's going in my life, and what I'm thinking about, who I am.
"Once when I was in Munich, I drank two and a half gallons of Paulaner, and I even walked all the way back to my hotel, an hour and a half away," says a drunk guy at the bar. I've just served him what will be his last beer. Now he's trying to impress me by telling me about some girl. Shuold I be impressed? Wait, he said he got ditched. How surprising? Of course, I've just high-fived him because he will likely tip me a buck or two.
Now he's telling me about Amsterdam, and his experiences getting absolutely blitzed there, and how cool if he is for being able to do such things.
"This thing fucking works, man!" says the guy, tapping his head as he walks out to smoke a cigarette.
"He's got that special crazy spark in his eye," says Garrett the Parrot. And yes, he does. Both of them go out for a cigarette as a tenth joins 10. There are enough people for me to stay open another half an hour. Then I will go out and have a good time.
Still here. Cleaning up the regulars. Then the Rogan Brothers. This is my life in my mid-30's, trying to balance work and work and work and family. It ain't so bad.