All be damned today. Bloody damned. What was the point of even getting out of bed today? Pushed into a meeting I thought was tomorrow, my co-worker dropping coffee on my shoes, my car being rammed by same idiot who doesn’t know how to drive, but most of all, my mother in law decides she wants to stay another week and criticise my wife’s life choices, me being one of the many.
Praise the god I so seldom believe exists and all his good angels looking out for me that Clancy’s is not out of business. It has been the same old drunk, half conscious, now half clothed people dancing like they would rather not wake up tomorrow, vomiting in the bathrooms and the dark corners and by the jukebox, the wall of fame of all the regulars and the blasted youngsters clicking pictures with flash in a place meant to be dark and dreary where a man comes to drown his sorrows, not suck the marrow out of life. But best of all, my good man s will be here, who never sips alcohol and I’ll have my Black Dog to use a blast of familiarity to refresh myself.
Even though I normally have a white rum or beer to just let time be, days like these call for the strongest of them all to feel familiar. To know that hell is only a day long, sometimes two. Know where your footing is and realise that from rock bottom, you can only go one place. Up.
“Barkeep, give me my usual whiskey. The day calls for it.”
“You sure about it? How about the new beer I’ve trying to coerce you into having? Or the new Serbian Rum banned in Serbia?” he said with a smirk on his face. It felt condescending.
“Don’t aggravate me barkeep. You know my need for my whiskey when I need some semblance of order in my life”.
“A day like this, you might want to throw your familiarity out the window in my dumpster.”
“Have you lost your brain? Why don’t you damn it slit my throat and send my body to my mother in law who’ll love the change of seeing my lifeless face.” I punched the table hard. I hoped I was asleep and this was all a bad dream and hell was real and all demons like the god forsaken barkeep existed there.
The barkeep pointed his finger to my left. And the pang I felt rise up my spine made me positive all the demons were among us, be it smug, over smart barkeeps or mother in laws in general, or people who remained sober finally sobering up to alcohol.
“My god. My good man, I though you didn’t drink.” I said.
“I don’t, but he does, “he said, pointing to the man he was turning into.
“What about all those speeches of sobriety and alcohol being poison and wanting to live to be a hundred? What of the promise of never drinking?”
“All before I faced a bad day.”
“What about that whiskey now?” The barkeep, again with his smug smile.
“Get me some coconut water. I’ll try sobriety today.” I started walking away to his back door.
“Where are you going?”
I didn’t turn around, but the gods know he smiled. The biggest one of the night. All thanks to my misfortune.
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Published by Shrey Ahuja