More energetic and delirious than I’d been in awhile, a customer at the bar upped the giddy with silly shit spurting forth with innocent excitement about the world of the new.
“I’m not kidding, Violet,” he said to the bartendress.
“I don’t care what it is, but I like to try anything I haven’t had before.”
“That was good!” he said of a Huber lager. “What else you got!”
She poured him a Schlafly American Pale Ale and he piped up again.
We were sipping coffee on a day that hadn’t quite yet kick-started itself.
I barely got some lunch in me and was starting to long for the smoke I had left in my flat.
The coffee bent nothingness into something but nothing and I felt conscious for the first time since the whiskey and chronic buzz I had put on a couple nights ago, before cold and dark days of reading and sleeping.
“I discovered Pizza Hut all-you-can-eat,” the wackado continued, loud enough for all in the dining room to hear.
“Man, I had salad and nine pieces of pizza. And then! I had some cottage cheese and some pudding!”
The cat next to me was now crying into his sleeve, not able to laugh out loud.
“Then! My buddy called and wanted me to hang some dry wall with him. Aaaahhh no, I’m immobilized!”
The shit satellite radio poured more 80s schlock into the mix. I knew I couldn’t last long thinking about all the hopeless love I had spent while listening to this dreck but somehow it felt good, sparked by the coffee and an increasing need for inhalation.
“You show me an all-you-can-eat graze bar and I’m there!” he cackled now. “I wish they had a place that had it all. I’d munch cheeseburgers, souvlaki and kani maki.
This little dude must have a tapeworm, I thought…and how does he know about sushi? He didn’t look the type: a buzz cut, weathered face and work-a-day demeanor. But there was something crazy and angelic about him. He took his days with him, I guess. I don’t know. I remember thinking that NOW was enough for him and he was definitely enough for all of us. He had us by the ovaries and gonads.
He let us dive down and sink into our own comments about Morrissey and the shit Brit DJ. Let us look out the windows onto the banking public on Grand Boulevard. Let us sip and wonder “what next?” And then, “I started drinking when I was five”.
Skulls on necks spun, they did.
“I used to sit on my Granddaddy’s lap and drink beer, Violet.”
He had us on the hook again and was reeling us back in, but I was glad that I was not him, yet jealous and envious, somehow.
“He used to give me whiskey, too! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!”
Violet kept herself together somehow. The rest of us were either stunned or crumbling to pieces, but she was clocked in and simply grinning a little.
“Do you like that APA? That’s what I drink,” she said.
I liked her composure, but I wanted more.
“Ah, Man! This is fucking great! What is this????!!”
Violet pointed at the APA tap handle.
“It’s kind of fruity!!” he squeaked as the boy to my left lost it, expelling mucous across his plate of chicken wings.