Saturday, July 21, 2018

Talking To The Bartender

by Theresa H Hall (writer), East Coast USA, October 31, 2010

We all have that one day when something goes wrong. A time when absolutely nothing would have changed the outcome.

"Where do you hide yours?" I asked the bartender.

He looked up as he rinsed the martini glass, a quizzical look in his eyes. He shrugged his shoulders and asked, "My what?"

I stirred the tiny straw around the inside edge of my glass, and looking down into the depths of my cocktail I decided I would go for it.

"I'm speaking of that day in your life when everything that could go wrong did and you try not to think about." I delivered this line with an intriguing shift in my smile, tilting the corners of my painted lips upwards and allowing a glint to spark in my eyes. I nonchalantly shook my long hair to rearrange it.

"Don't say you've never had one of those days." I looked him straight in the eye as I spoke. "We all have that one day when something goes wrong. A time when absolutely nothing would have changed the outcome".

There. I'd asked my thought-provoking question. It would either garner me a good story while I waited for my dinner guest, who was habitually late, or the bartender would decide not to play. If that happened then I would need to find some other way to occupy the next forty-five minutes.

You can find out a lot about some people and in a relatively short amount of time. You either click right away or cloak yourself in an unapproachable, touch-me-not protective barrier. Mostly I stay aloof, easily able to entertain myself, but tonight I wanted an off-the-wall dialogue this handsome chap could (if my predictions were correct), prompt.

"Oh ... well I never really thought about where I kept it hidden, but I do wander around the memories sometimes." He raised his eyebrows in a questioning look and queried. "And where might I ask, do you keep yours?"

Ooh he was good at this, too. I immediately sat up a little taller on my bar stool and replied "I keep my action packed day under lock and key. I wouldn't be allowed to share mine, but by all means, please tell me all about yours." I leaned in for effect and his body language told me my net had already snared his attention.

He looked me up and down and flipped the bar towel over his left shoulder. Turning to the other fellow behind the bar he said he was taking his break. They nodded to one another and he came around the edge of the bar and sat down, two spots away. Drawing out his wallet, he flipped it open and showed me a photograph of himself along with two really cute kids and a sleek brunette. Everyone was smiling into the camera and appeared very glad they were together. He pointed to the woman and explained it was his sister and her children and that they had the photo taken for their parents, who lived in Argentina now.

"They're retired and my dad wanted to return to his native country and show my mom how he grew up. He missed the old country." He smiled widely and understood the perplexed look on my face. "I guess you thought I kept mysterious thoughts to preoccupy my mind." Everything is great with my family and I try not to dwell on days gone wrong.

He was correct. I figured him for a guy who would have lots of hot-blooded women in his head. Apparently not. This guy was a family man. I smiled a little regretfully and decided it was time to go. He accepted my decision to withdraw and we said good-bye.

I was off to find someone who would give me the answers I sought.

(to be continued...)

About the Writer

Theresa H Hall is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on Talking To The Bartender

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By Lynda Lehmann on October 31, 2010 at 04:14 pm

Well written, Theresa, and I wonder where you are going to go with this...

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By Frank - icare2be on October 31, 2010 at 07:15 pm

I loved it. As an ex-bartender I remembered the questions people asked. I remember some of the sad, sad stories and funny incidents. Yet, thank goodness no-one asked me for my hiding place. I have exposed my worst day in poetry.. It is there if you look.

I enjoyed the article and look forward to the continuing series.


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By taking off the mask on November 01, 2010 at 02:12 pm

well written. interesting story..hurry up with part 2 :D

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