Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sweetheart My Ass, Mister

The small red numbers displayed on the digital clock under the bar catch my eye over and over again. One o'clock and I'm off. Done for the night.

The chairs are all stacked, the bar is wiped down, and the whole place is empty besides the kitchen workers and me. Every night it's like this. Every night I get tipped shit on shit on shit. I'm over it. Glancing around quickly, I pour myself a whisky and sprite. I know whisky and coke is the traditional drink, but it's an unknown thing that sprite actually brings out the whiskey's flavor. A little bartender secret, I guess. Usually I just do shots, but the whole night has been slow, so I've taken...a few with my buddy Howard from the kitchen.
"There's gonna be a lunar eclipse tonight." he informed me after our second shot together. Maybe I'll see it out my window or something if I don't just pass right out.

Shrugging, I sip my drink, eyes fixed on the clock. 12:47.
The front door opens. Now way someone's coming in this damn late. I look over and sure enough it's a couple of dudes.

"Closed." I bark.
"Sign said open till one, sweetheart." A particularly ugly man with a beard slurs as he saunters to the bar.
Rage burns in my stomach. Sweetheart. Sweetheart my ass, mister.
"Not tonight, sir. We closed early." I say slowly, like I'm talking to a child. When I drink I turn into a lil bit of a snappy person, and right now I'm not having it.
"Why don't you just pour us a-"
"Get out."
"Calm down suga-" He reaches for me, and I slap his arm.
"Out!" I demand, and, looking like a kicked puppy, he obeys,


I sit sipping on the last bit of my second glass of whisky and sprite, watching people's shadows dance in the neon lights out front. The clock changes to 1:00am, and I'm sprinting for the door. Well, wobbling towards my bag then rifling through it aimlessly for some cigarettes and a lighter. Quickly, I put on some lipstick, looking in my reflection in the window, before I push the front door open with my hip and head outside. I flick my little yellow lighter and a flame brushes the bottom of my cigarette, but doesn't light it. The wind just keeps blowing it out.

A raspy voice saying, "Need help, kid?" pulls me out of my lighter educed trance, and I nod, handing her my lighter. The lights from Hot Legs just barely illuminate this woman's face, and I can almost recognize her. Maybe she lives in my apartments? I'm too smashed to think, nevermind.

She lights my Newport for me, and after a minute, I'm calm. God, I love smoking when I'm drunk. A red glow pulls my eyes towards the sky. The moon is a beautiful, fire red. My mouth gapes and lazily, I point at the sky. "There's a lunar eclipse, ya know." I slur, remembering what Howard had said to me earlier. Shit, I sound wasted. I clear my throat and look back up at sky, a smile pulling at my lips. Maybe I live in an ugly town and work at a crappy restaurant, but the moon is fucking beautiful and I have money for cigarettes. What more can you ask for?