by Sean Bronson
When I go to a bar, I usually like to go outside and take cigarette breaks. There is one guy I’ve been sort of talking to. Let’s call him James.
Let me just say, in the past, I usually didn’t talk to other bar patrons. However, I’ve been going to one particular bar near my place and I’m sort of becoming a regular.
Becoming a regular at a bar is a great study in social relations between human beings. You visit an establishment a couple of times, you talk to a few regulars, and then people start buying you drinks. Even the bartender throws a couple your way.
Getting to know other regulars is an interesting experience. James, who I brought up earlier, is a stand up comic. I know this because he was smoking something outside of the bar, and he showed me the pipe that he smoked with the now-deceased comedian, Mitch Hedberg. That’s how long he’s been doing comedy.
The second time we hung outside the bar, I pretended to go for a single-leg take down on him. There were two other guys there. So a total of four dudes including myself.
The conversation went from whether I used to take Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to knives. Yes, knives as in pocket knives. They all took them out in unison to show me.
I was surprised. These were harmless-looking dudes with these beautiful blades. I was not threatened in anyway, but the reality of the dangerous neighborhood I lived in dawned on me.
I guess I already knew. After all, even though the bar was only three or four blocks down, I always drove there instead of walking.
“Tom” is another guy I’ve been talking to at the bar. He seems like he is always sloshed but in a friendly way. He talks to everyone, even to the people sitting at the tables.
He is an older guy than me and works as an accountant somewhere. He doesn’t look like an accountant though. I don’t know about the rest of the world, but there’s a stereotypical image of what an accountant looks like to me. And he doesn’t fit it. I don’t know. Maybe he changes into more casual clothes before going to the bar.
What I know about him is that he is divorced and often takes the taxi home because he is so wasted. He confessed to me that, because of his over-drinking, someone told him he was on a death wish.
And there is that one girl always at the bar with a very questionable reputation. You don’t why she’s there. She always pops in and out and then back in again. She disappears behind alleys or is gone altogether with other customers.
I’ve never talked to her but she always sings songs that have remind me of a siren warning travelers of her destructive love. On the surface, she looks like a regular girl. But I know how to look.
What was that quote about Groucho Marx? Something about joining a club…