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Monday, January 17, 2011

Hey! You! Get Out of My Way! Part 21 Enter the 9th Circle

Two hours before closing, the arrival of Bob is announced via Mitch.  “He’s here,” Mitch whispers loudly as he passes by me.  Trying not to look desperate or eager I say “Thanks” and continue leaning on the side bar.  From my position I can look in the mirrors and see people in the bar without having to look directly at them.  I can see Bob walking through the front bar looking for someone.  Hoping it’s me he’s looking for but not wanting to seem over anxious, I stop leaning and sneak through the back bar into the hallway.  That way I can just accidentally “run into him.”

Pushing my way through the hallway I walk right up behind him.  He is still looking around the bar when he turns around and crashes right into me knocking my tray to the floor.  “Holy Shit,” he yells and we both bend over to pick up my tray.  A big smile begins to form on his face as we slowly stand up.  “I have been looking for you,” he says his blue eyes twinkling.  “You were?” I say looking around.  “I forgot,” I say, “Did you tell me that you were coming in here tonight?” I let my eyes stare into his.  He laughs his gentle laugh and then sighs.  “It’s good to see you,” he says a smile forming again.  “You too,” I say.  “I have met some of the loneliest people in here tonight.”  I look around the bar is packed.  I always thought that it was strange that you could sometimes feel loneliest in a crowded bar.

 “I’m sorry to hear that,” he says with a laugh.  “Would you like to talk about it?”  “Not right now,” I say “I only want to talk about happy things.”  With this he takes my hand, looks into my eyes and asks me if I would like to go out with him after I get off work.  Trying again no to seem too eager I tell him that it will be around 3 am. “I’ll see you then.” He says cupping my chin in his hand. He turns and heads to the front door of the bar.  He turns around raises 3 fingers and mouths the words, “See you then.”  Right at this moment I feel like the only person in the world.

I turn around and push my way through the crowded bar looking for Mitch and I beg him to work the rest of the night for me.  He reminds me that he is already working, so it would be impossible to cover my shift.  “Crap, you’re right,” I say dejected.  “Oh well, then do you want to play a game?” Mitch asks looking towards the back bar.

One of the favorite games that Mitch and I play is called Numbers.  Numbers is a game where we walk through the bar, stand in front of a patron and discuss what we think their faults and their strengths would be.  Then we judge them in beauty and talent and finish with a number a number from one to ten.  We then announce their final number to their faces and wish them all the best in the future.  Most of the time the patrons we rate, are either falling down drunk, or nodding out because they are on drugs.  With luck the person is awake, lucid and highly insulted.

Eric the Fish slides up too us.  “Oh, giiirrrrrrrlllllllllll,” he say’s scanning the crowd.  “Do you want to play the numbers game?”  He opens his arms to display the crowd before us.  “We are one step ahead of you,” I say.  “Let’s do it.”

Starting against the wall we find some young boy who looks like he just got out of high school, we start with him.  Just our luck, he’s bombed.  Eric the fish grabs his arm and spins him before us.  “Throw him back,” I say he’s not fully grown yet.  Eric the Fish twirls the bewildered boy back against the wall.  We take our time going through at least the first ten victims when I realize I got bills to pay. I realize this because I can see Jeff the bar manager looking at me.  Eric and Mitch follow my eyes and see him too.  We scatter like roaches when someone turns the lights on. “Game over Gggggiiiirrllllllll,” squeals Eric the Fish ducking out of the room.  I make a quick swoop into the hallway and back around to the front bar.

I cut through the crowd and look for John, I am avoiding work tonight.  I want to make sure that he is alright, the last time I saw him was awhile ago. Mitch and I meet back around the front of the bar. “Have you seen John?” I ask.  “Oh, he left hours ago,” Mitch says.  The bar manager comes around the corner causing Mitch and I to scatter again.

Looking at my watch, I realize its last call.  One hour before we close and two hours before I see Bob.
To be continued………

Geoffrey Doig-Marx holds all written and electronic rights to his writting "A Day in the Life". It can not be reprinted in part or whole without his written consent.

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