Friday the 13th. An unlucky day, if you’re superstitious. I’m not, but at the same time I can’t help but wonder at the strange mood of my customers. We servers chalk it up to anything. Full moons, changing tides, leap years, weird energies. Either way my bar is full of lunatics. I’m stuck in an asylum and it’s the damn Hotel California in here I’ve checked in but I can never check out is it four o’clock yet? Captain, please bring me my wine. I need something strong to get me through the rest of this shift.
A woman at the bar is having a mid life crisis and she’s spent the last hour draining my keg of Firestone 805. I’ll just add that to the inventory list. She recently discovered her fondness for women perhaps she has decided the first four decades of her life with men didn’t fulfill her so she’s going to switch it up for the next half. She has trapped the woman in the stool beside her, drowning her in compliments and drowning herself in beer and I’m over here drowning in misery this has been the longest hour of my life did time stop moving? I’d rather be drowning myself in wine where is that damn captain with my holy grail?
I was up too late last night with the great Steinbeck; we were sharing some laughs and a wonderful bottle of Cabernet but the resulting dull ache in my temples has blossomed into a full blown tempest in my head and Lennie over there at table 104 keeps trying to touch me every time I walk by. “I bet you’re wild,” he says. Leans forward, real close. Puts his mouth right up to my ear, those big horse teeth shining in the corner of my vision, the straggled blond hair floating like a hoard of flies about his head. “I like wild.” He smiles and I shudder and I wonder if the hand in his pocket is cradling the velvety carcass of a field mouse I really need to get more sleep at night. This bar is becoming the stuff of nightmares.
It’s Friday the 13th. I’m waiting for Jason to appear in his hockey mask and put me out of my misery at this point I’m fully prepared to endure a violent death if it means getting out of here. But the bastard never shows his face. Instead I’m here dodging advances from Lennie and assuring the crumbling woman at my bartop that she is beautiful and she’ll find someone that makes her feel as good as the cold beer trickling down the back of her throat. And right on cue the daily 3:45 meeting of the Assembly of Alcoholics has shown up and it’s vodka sodas and tequila shots all around. They meet daily between the hours of “We can legally serve alcohol” and “We’re closed” and I’m trying to convince them to have tee shirts made but they’re not buying it. Probably because they can’t drink a tee shirt. Maybe I’ll design a coat of arms and have it engraved on flasks for them. To show my appreciation for the amount of alcohol they consume. But mostly to encourage them to drink at their desks and stay the hell out of my bar. I deserve way more than ten dollars an hour to stand here coming up with all these great ideas.
Oh, here’s Lennie, back for more. Would you like to touch my hair? I haven’t washed it in three days so it will inevitably disappoint you. Perhaps I’ll introduce him to the woman at the bar. Her hair looks clean.
It’s Friday the 13th and this bar is a shit show. I’ve lost the ability to mask my displeasure, not that I had much of an ability in the first place. I think I’m developing a permanent twitch remind me to review the section in the employee handbook regarding workman’s comp when I get home.
Speaking of home I wonder if time’s started moving again because I’ve got my bags packed and I’m ready to check out of this loony bin. Godspeed, ladies and gentleman. Cross your fingers, go inside, lock your doors, stay off the roads and away from black cats. Friday the 13th is not a day to be reckoned with.