I’m leaning up against the counter with all the booze on top of it, the black light underneath it, sipping at some sort of high-school chemistry experiment that I married up at eight-thirty. It’s early, and empty, and the night has yet to remind people of empty promises, terrible memories and regrets.
There’s a man at the bar; he’s wearing a business suit and a permanent look of seriousness. He takes up half the bar with his voice, and the other half with ostentation. He asks me for the most expensive Whisky we have, but I suggest something else. As I pour the Fernet and ginger beer, it’s a ploy to rid him of his ridiculously prototypical personality – he’s a bore, I met the same man last Saturday night, and the Saturday night before that, and they all want to throw cash away like it is paper.
There’s a girl at the bar; she looks about my age, with short-ish hair streaked with blonde and light brown, and clothes too short and too tight for her body. She is a cigarette, and I am the ashtray. I was ready to let unworthy lips consume her cancer, watching as she allows herself to burn down into nothing, and leaving me to collect her ashes, then leaving me to watch another sad girl take her place tomorrow night.
There’s a group of teenagers on the couch, boisterous and happy, barely of age, clearly feeling a sort of invincibility. They all order frozen Daiquiris and bottles of beer, some of them clearly submerging their teenage angst by gripping the necks of beer bottles to prevent gripping the necks of others.
More familiar faces, and soon-to-be familiar ones, walk in and scan the options they have to get drunk and think about the “what ifs” and the “whens”. Another Saturday night spent fixing things and people that have nothing to do with me, and wondering when I’ll get to go home.