Bar

The Sexy Bartender Babe

by McCutcheon
Hello cruel world. How are you? I am drinking. I live in a pickled state. I stay up late. Just a stupid, mediocre, genius.

Most nights I stay at home and drink wine. I sit on the couch and pour the wine into my special glass. I savor the moment and then gulp it down. I play music. Smoke cigarettes. The lonely, nobody will love me, pissed off guy, I don’t give a shit, ritual.

Tonight I’m going to the bar. I feel like being social. We suffer alone but celebrate together. I don’t have much to celebrate except that I just cashed my last paycheck. It will be the last one I get before some collection agency starts to garnish my wages. They are going to start taking 25%. I think I’ll quit. It won’t be long before I’m out on the street.

The bar is half empty. Not too many people here. A drunk music critic from England talks to some hipsters buying him beer. A few tattooed boys with jet black hair and pale skin play pool. I take a seat up at the bar. Typical Monday crowd. Some people party on the weekends. For others it’s a life style choice.

I try to talk to the pretty girl serving the drinks. I’ve seen her before. She has the dirty girl next door look. The one who would show you her thing if you showed her yours. She is not gorgeous but in this place she sticks out. I am pulled in by her wicked smile and nasty, tasty, tits. I know flesh doesn’t have much flavor but it always looks sweet to me.

I say, "Hi baby. A pint of stout, please."

She says, " $3.50"

I smile and pay. She doesn’t notice my smile. I notice that she doesn’t give me any change from the five I handed her.

I drink the pint of beer. It doesn’t last long. I order another.

The beer in the glass doesn’t last long. The cigarettes sitting next to my glass will get smoked up and the money in my pocket won’t last long either. How can we make love last when everything else that matters in this world is so disposable?

The pretty girl walks down to the other side of the bar. She doesn’t say anything else to me. I look at the TV above my head. Jerry Springer is on. The sound is turned down and the words are printed across the screen. The dialogue is about two lovers who wanted to kill each other. Now they have worked it out. They are getting married on National TV. On one of the highest rated shows for a matter of fact. That is fucking love.

This doesn’t interest me. It seems their lives are a waste of time.

I don’t think sitting in bars by yourself, drinking by yourself, is a waste of time. I have the freedom to think. The booze helps. It makes other people think you are an asshole but it improves your self worth to yourself. It’s not as easy to fool other people.

When I am sober things seem too strange. People are cruel. Work sucks. I sit around bored thinking shit.

This is where I like to be. No tears in my beer tonight.

I walk over to the juke box. The selections seem to be on the heavy metal side. I don’t really like fast rockin’ music. I choose some Johnny Cash. The problem is, his songs are short and you don’t really get much for your money. But still, I need to hear the man in black. I look for Galaxie 500 but they don’t have it. I put on Why Can’t I Touch It? by the Buzzcocks. It’s a great song, and longer than three minutes. I look over at the bartender. She is washing glasses.

The bartender must get hit on every night. I bet she is lonely.

I spend the rest of the money on the slow songs from The Replacements’ Let it Be and Husker Du’s Candy Apple Grey. Those are classic American albums.

I walk back to my spot and drain the beer. I wave my hand to get the girl’s attention. She doesn’t see me.

"Hey…Hey!"

"Yeah?"

"Another, please."

I walk to the toilet while she pours.

No one else is in the bathroom. I piss. Some of it gets on my right shoe and pants leg. I shake it off. I go to the mirror. The mirror is cracked and covered with stickers from local rock bands. I stare at myself. It’s hard to face my reflection. I seem like a stranger. The eyes, my eyes, look at me. They are judging, probing.

What I see should be familiar but it isn’t. I talk to my reflection, still staring. I don’t really say anything, I just will it, think it. I keep staring until someone comes in. I’m embarrassed to be caught looking at myself. He probably thinks I am one of those pretty boy types. I pretend to pick my nose and walk out.

When I get back to the bar my beer is waiting for me. I sit down and the girl comes up.

"$3.50."

"Thanks baby."

I hand her four. She makes change and puts the fifty cents down in front of me. The juke box plays the Buzzcocks. Fuck, I missed Johnny.

"Hey?" I say.

The girl tuns to look at me.

"Yeah?" she asks.

"Do you think people on the Jerry Spinger show are lonely?"

"What?"

I point to the TV over her head. She turns around and looks. She smiles at the overweight people taking their wedding vows.

The bride is very ugly. Not only is she obese, but she is almost growling. Maybe she wishes they would have done each other in after all. Definitely not a blushing bride. The groom just looks dumb. Like a big, dumb, fat, stupid, slob.

"Everyone is lonely," the bartender says.

"Do you think it’s the same for guys and girls?" I ask.

"What do you mean?"

"Like how do we know, how do we express our emotions. What do we feel? I mean who has better orgasms, guys or girls?"

"Coming is coming," she says.

"OK, but how do we know?"

She doesn’t answer, just looks at me weird. Like I’m weird.

"It just seems," I continue, "that in theory, not practice, but in theory girls can sleep with anyone they want and guys sleep with anyone they can."

"Girls sleep with people to try and get into a relationship," she says. "but sex doesn’t cure loneliness."

She walks away back to the other end of the bar. I listen to my last two songs. Drink my beer. Then walk home.
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