It has never been about the alcohol or the buzz. It is the ritual. First, a rocks glass (a manís glass) of heavy crystal. Not a snifter, please, thatís for brandy or cognac. Learn your trade, you heathen. Perhaps a cube or two of ice, if they are clear and free of imperfections. And of course, liquid copper, distilled when I was a different man and aged in charred oak, bottled, shipped, and waiting until this very moment, to become part of me. Religious. From beneath gray pinstripe an inch of pressed white sleeve emerges, fastened with an antique spartan warrior. The raising of the glass.
Ah, that's better. Music feels good on my earsóthat piano player is hitting all the right blue notes. The din of conversation and clinking glasses. A beautiful woman pouring my drink. This is what I've worked so hard for, no? A few creature comforts before I die? I deserve this. Let all my evenings be as such.
Here I am, you sexy bastard, did you miss me? Hold still, while I fasten this rogue smirk on your face. There you are. You own this fucking place...have a look around: divorcee with the button down tits drinking white? Yes I saw her. Cropped redhead with the margarita? I do like redheads. Tattoo girl taking the bottle a little deep when she drinks? I donít think Iím her type anymore.
Look at these fucking guys. Take your hat off dickhead, this isn't a hockey rink. Fuck, I'm getting ornery. Slow down. You're enjoying yourself. Don't go to the dark side. What am I doing here? Go home. Nobody here has ever seen the movie you're playing in your head. Youíre not a brooding poet being crushed under the weight of lost love, youíre just a drunk clown. You donít even taste it anymore.
Every relationship driven by a hero complex. You're not a hero. Youíve done some good things. You're not good. Youíre thoughtful, better than theyíre used to, but thatís just grading on a curve. You nurture them while you defile their bodies. They love you for it. But you never love them. Yes you do. Deeply. Fuck, what are you doing to yourself? You're a good guy...they donít know me. I'm nice. I'm kind. I'm not good.
God I miss you. I miss feeling your love, your pride in me. While I was trying to be the man I thought youíd want me to be, you never doubted that I am that man. Now that you are gone, life seems so...pointless.
I can hear myself slurring. Wave for the check, Nice and easy. Get it out. She's nodding patiently, smiling. Thank you for not making me feel like the asshole I am. That deserves a really good tip.