Shift Drink

I’m at the bar again. I’ve been coming up with reasons as to why I’m here. It’s purely for investigative purposes, or at least that’s the excuse I come up with to help me feel better about being an alcoholic.
There’s a piece I’m working on that’s set in a bar. The entire premise is the bar and why we all go out.
I want to capture it. So I go out and sit at bars and try to soak it all in. It’s a bizarre setting, especially in my town. It’s so bizarre that I have no words for it.
So really I’m going out for the sake of going out.
Why do any of us go to the bar?
That’s what I’m trying to answer…
I get drunk and ask people why they’re there. That’s when I know I need to go home.

It’s the end of a long shift and all I want is a beer. My eyes are sore and my body aches, but I’m walking to my car thinking about making a quick detour. I pass by Congress Street. It’s 10:30 pm and the sidewalks are filled with crowds of people. They all look so cute, dressed up in high-waisted shorts and tanks, dresses and heels, and I’m walking by them black-on-black in my uniform. Oh well, I’ve got money in my pocket and I feel well.
Labor Day weekend brought in a lot of people so I had to park nearly five blocks from the my work and by the time I reach my car I decide to venture past it to a local bar.
McDonough’s is the name. It’s one of my favorite local bars tucked away from all the chaos of Congress. I sit down and order a wheat beer then pull out my journal and start scribbling. I’m by myself. I’ve come to realize that being by myself draws attention. I’m an attractive girl and already I can feel eyes on me, but I stare ahead, unmotivated to talk to anybody.
You can pull out your phone and nobody pays attention. But you pull out a journal and people get interested. When I first started taking notes at the bar I was self-conscious—it’s a rather weird thing to do, I suppose.
But I’m trying to write a story, dammit.
You’d be surprised at people who interrupt me. It’s like those people who come up and talk to you when you’re reading—don’t you figure that it’s a solo affair?
I usually don’t mind the conversation though.
Tonight I was scribbling and two guys politely asked if I worked someplace. Turns out that they were at my restaurant tonight while I was running around crazy with a twelve-top and five other tables. I ended up talking with them for a while. The notebook is an automatic conversation piece.
This guy liked to fish out on the open sea. It gave him peace and perspective, floating there with no land in sight. It was a good conversation, and you don’t get those often.

How many interactions do I need before I finish this thing?
I’ve begun the introduction nearly three times and when I get to the actual bar scene I’m stumped. I don’t know how to describe it. I don’t know how to capture it.
But I suppose I’ll keep drinking until I do.

2 thoughts on “Shift Drink

  1. I’ve had my notebook with me in a bar before, too. It’s true, people do get really curious! Might as well be wearing a t-shirt that says, “PLEASE, Ask me what I’m scribbling about.” You’ll get your scene eventually. Have you ever sat and observed without a drink? Maybe just get a soda and a bite to eat…a slightly different perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

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