i can pour things into other things.

by dorarandom

it was good to be behind the bar again. i guess i mentioned here, briefly, something about the sort-of sports bar where i was working over the summer—didn’t i, imaginary? about how i wanted to murder all the customers or something extreme like that. i think i’d mostly just worked “happy” hour shifts up to that point, and the happy hour crew was a pretty hateful and demanding bunch of old drunks. i called them ‘team cirrhosis.’ (in my head, of course.) their ringleader took a dislike to me pretty quickly, eventually told me he could get me fired, and lo and behold! he did. but i mostly worked nights. if i had only worked nights, i probably wouldn’t have been fired—but, who knows. my boss really hated me too. he’s a genuine crazy person and he really hated everyone and everything, but me especially. he liked to come up behind me and/or fling open the door to the beer cooler and scream while i was restocking, just to scare the shit out of me, just for fun.

so it was a good thing that i was fired*, since obviously i should’ve quit and i would never have done so. i really did like most of my customers, and they liked me too. i got some astounding tips at this place. regularly. (obviously another reason why i didn’t quit.) i especially cherished the esteem of this one incredibly caustic, violently sarcastic regular—legendary, in the tiny universe of this bar, for his nasty temper—who on my first night just about curdled my blood with his contempt—but who ended up totally, obviously in love with me. (you know, in love in quotes.) he started calling me ‘sweetheart’ and wanting to help me lift heavy things. he asked me if was single and if i liked the beach! and to me this was like the coup of the century—sadly, maybe! but it was proof that you can kill them with kindness.

so i felt like i was winning hearts and minds, you know. i did bartend a little in a marginal way in college but i didn’t give a shit about the craft or anything. as an old person, i unexpectedly find that i do, deeply. (i believe) it is sort of a sacred profession and i am naturally sort of good at it. (i have a very good memory, i’m efficient, warm, extremely polite and non-judgmental with a talent for setting others at ease, and i like alcohol and conversations and staying up late.) i was so needlessly anxious about starting this new job! as The Gift Horse said, if you can bartend when psychopaths are shouting at you, think how much easier it will be when everyone is nice to you. indeed. yes, it is much easier in a small genteel pretentious-ish little spot that serves ‘craft cocktails.’ (though i have to wonder how the money is!—i have no sense of this yet.) the boss is about the polar opposite of my old boss—a soft-spoken guy with a handlebar mustache who grows herbs on the roof. at the old bar, my boss made relentless fun of me because i once mentioned eating thai food. at new bar, one of the current specialty drinks is garnished with a pickled watermelon rind. (and made with celery bitters!) i feel like there probably should’ve been a step in between, but. oh well. or c’est la vie maybe i should say.

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* though being fired truly deeply sucked! having never been fired before. after about a week, my head started to clear. i actually started to feel for the first time like i could apply for professional adult-career-type jobs-with-benefits for which i would be well-suited and well-paid—for the first time ever in my life, really! i felt like a masterpiece of sanity!

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