“Another one,” I said.
“I think you’ve had enough,” the bartender was cleaning a glass, looking at the television screen nonchalantly.
“Five beers isn’t enough,” I exclaimed with a smile. The bartender turned away from the screen and sighed.
“Look. I really like you. You seem like a nice guy. But you’re wasting your money. You’ve been here six days a week, every week, for the last month and a half. And I appreciate the business you’ve given us. But you’re wasting your life away here. You need to-“
“If you’re going to talk my ear off, at least let me wash it down with another blonde.” I said. The bartender let out another long sigh. He stopped cleaning his glass, and walked over to the tap. He took a deep breath, and put a glass to the tap. The liquid bubbled slightly as it splashed into the glass. It foamed beautifully, like a graceful wave crashing over the beach.
“Look, I don’t want to be rude, but you’re life is more valuable than this. Why don’t we talk about you?” The bartender closed the tap and walked the beer over to me. It had a perfect froth, the kind one can only do after pouring thousands of glasses.
“What about me?” I said with indifference.
“Why don’t we start with why you’re here.”
“I’ve already told you why I was here. My girl—”
“I’ve heard your bullshit story about your girl that you’ve told half the people who have walked in here before,” the bartender brought both hands down on the counter with a look of annoyance, “Besides, even if the girl was really important to you, 6 weeks is quite a while to drink yourself through your tears.”
“What would you know?” I looked down, drawing circles in the wood countertop.
“Well, I know that break ups suck. But I also know that one girl doesn’t ruin a person.” I looked up at the bartender. He had a warm smile.
“You didn’t have a girl like this.” I took a long drink from my glass. It was cool and crisp, with a light flavor that reminded me of hike through the mountains in June.
“Maybe not. What else is wrong in your life?” The bartender pulled up his own stool and eyed me with curiosity.
“I don’t know.”
“Now come on, spit it out. Did you lose your job?”
“Well see, there’s your problem. You’re stuck. You lost your job. You lost your girl. You’re probably feeling like the world has ended. And because of that, you’re letting yourself be consumed by self-hatred. But you have nothing to hate about yourself. You’ve just—”
“Look, I appreciate your time,” I stood up sharply “but I didn’t come here to be lectured.” I downed my glass and threw a few bills on the counter, then turned and walked through the doors. The look on his face was surprised. As I passed through the doors I sighed. Maybe he’s right. I felt my shoulders slump. But if I can’t even take advice from a nice guy like that, what kind of piece of shit am I? My eyes glazed over. Eventually, I came to a sign that read The Boar’s Head Tavern. I looked around. The tavern looked warm and inviting. And I could hear the friendly sounds of glasses clinking together. I pulled the door open and walked in.