Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tonic for the Vodka soul

His name was Jake. He reached the bar wearing spiderwebs over his eyes, and a deep wrinkle in his forehead. Everything about him smelled like defeat and as I looked at him through the glasses, empty bottles and lonely hearts, I could tell he was having a day from hell. Two of my regulars were in that night. And drinking like there was no tomorrow. I felt bad for Mr. newbie, who was still clearly sober. He just sat there looking like a lost penny. With my 'this is nothing, I've seen worse' expression in my face, I stared into his eyes while I asked 'What would you like tonight?', in my attempt to find out with what it was he wanted to drown his sorrows in. 'Anything. Give me anything to stop the pain'. As these words escaped his mouth, I knew I needed more information to prepare the remedy. 'Only if you tell me where it hurts and who is resposible for the pain', I sentenced. He gave me a tiny smile, that made happy I was there that night and after much hesitation, Mr. Newbie started telling me about the agony hidden in his scars...

Her name was Rachel. She was perfect: smart, pretty, nice, good person.... We met when I went to visit the Grand Canyon. She was there, by herself, had driven eight hours from San Diego just to look at the inmensity of the Canyon. I was there by myself too, and everything just fell right into place. Her smile, my eyes, it was like we were built for each other, you know? Have you ever had that feeling you've known that person from long before you actually saw her for the first time? Anyway. We clicked. And talked. And kissed. It was like being in a friggin' movie. Just perfect.

'But...' I couldn't help but say.

But -he continued- when the trip was over, she said she wanted to come with me to New York. I invited her to trust her instincts and come, and so she did. Two weeks after she moved in, walking back home from work I take a glimpse of this beautiful woman on a bar. I could only see her back. It looked familiar. I see this person talking closely to a man, who's whispering something in her ear, and seconds later, kissing her neck. Something in my gut told me to keep staring. Something was wrong. She kissed him back. I went inside the bar. Walked past the man. Turned around. It was her. And here I am.

I tried not to give him the "pity look". Even though inside I wanted to hold him like a little boy and tell him the typical"everything is gonna be alright. There are plenty of fish in the sea". For some reason, though I've listened to hundreds of sad stories, I never get used to them and always feel bad for my customers. My friends. So I didn't give him the "pity look". Instead, I poured the remedy -vodka, tonic, and lime- inside a frosted glass. And told him the truth.

'Drink up, buttercup. It's the only thing that will get you through'.

1 comment:

César said...

Although there’s nothing new, I always like a gloomy bar story. Perhaps, you should add some darkness and fresh new ideas. Try to think as Ani Allan Poe Lol… Its just my opinion. Love you!


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