Roth's Note: I wrote this about a year and a half ago for an English assignment. I finally decided to type it up from it's written form, and post it on Fictionpress. I'm still working on my story, up to 50 pages now. Still turning over in my mind whether or not that story will appear on Fictionpress. For now, chew on this appetizer.

The Bartender

Awakening from the sound of a speeding car,

A man stands up in an empty bar,

The tables abandoned, the stools left alone,

No more laughing of the drunks, no more ringing of the phone,

No shouting of the card sharks, begging for another game,

No one is playing pool, nothing is the same,

The old bartender rubs his eyes, he's slowly losing his sight,

He cleans a glass, then wipes his face as black as the night,

It used to be fun, business used to be fine,

But now that business is slow, he's basically killing time,

His eyes look out a bar-side window, he then pours a glass of wine,

He takes a sip, looks out again, the window reflecting a neon sign,

In eye catching red, and what does it read?

Sammy's Strip Club, Do Yourself a Deed!

The newly opened business where everyone is going,

Business there is growing as business at the bar is slowing,

The bartender sighs, and pours another glass,

And another, and another, he's getting drunk fast,

He stumbles and trips, and makes his way out of the bar,

Bumbling across the street with the bottle, he almost gets hit by a car,

He makes his way to the club, stumble by stumble,

He goes inside as he mutters and grumbles,

He's shoved aside by men, their faces blurred,

They don't want a drunk inside, they don't want to be disturbed,

He shoves past them, techno music is filling the air,

At a couple of strippers all the men stare,

Feeling sick, the bartender ducks into the bathroom,

He stumbles into a stall, then takes a nasty fall,

He drops the bottle that cracks on the floor,

The wine spills out, he vomits, than slams the door,

He needs to have some space, and he needs to have a smoke,

He pulls one out, awkwardly lights it, and as he smokes lets out a croak,

He blows out the smoke, than smokes some more,

After leaving the stall, he flicks the lit butt on the floor,

He hears something erupt, but is too drunk to care,

He leaves the bathroom, ditches the club, to stay awake he doesn't dare,

He enters the bar and falls behind the counter asleep,

Time to call it a night, time to count some sheep,

Hours later, he wakes to loud sounds,

The customers are back, for drinks men are barking like hounds,

Vodka! Wine! Tequila! Make it quick!

He hurries to work, though he still feels a little sick,

Across the street are firefighters, some volunteer members,

All that remains of the strip club are burning embers,

"What happened to the club?" he asks a young man in the line,

"A drunk man burned it down with a cigarette and wine!"

He listened in shock, but felt lucky no one was hurt,

"I'd talk more, but I have a date, sorry to be curt,"

The bartender held back a chuckle among all the chatters,

Business is back, that's all that matters.