Bar Scene #4,543,344,567

He had remembered the bar being quaint and old. There weren't a lot of people around and the sun had just sunken down beneath the eastern mountains. The place had suddenly become very anticlimactic and almost twilight driven from the absence of light. The man was drinking a beer. He didn't know what type of beer it was. He noticed his eyes seemed to squint every time he took a sip as if he didn't prefer it, but he kept drinking anyway. A woman, who sat near him, kept eyeing him like prey. She hadn't said anything yet, but the man was counting down the moments until something would happen.

"Come here often?" she said.

"I've been too drunk to remember the name." he replied with a smile as if he hadn't heard that pickup line one hundred times before.

"You've been here a lot. Four times this week and its only Thursday."

Her voice wasn't patronizing. It felt more motherly than his mother; he knew his mother would've said something crude to berate him.

"Thanks. Glad someone's keeping count. Otherwise…"

"Otherwise?"

He shook his head like a slow falling pendulum. "Nothing. There's no real reason for me to say that. You ever say something just to go through the motions?"

"Almost everyday. Actually everyday when my boss says 'How are you doing?' and I just want to punch him in the face."

"I think every boss on Earth deserves at least one punch in the face, somewhere down the damn road."

"You're funny," she said.

"You just went through the motions again."

"What?" she asked.

"You said that because you didn't have anything else to say."

"No, I said it because I agreed with you. It was so correct that I found it funny."

"Do you want another drink?" he said.

"No."

"Okay."

For a minute he sat there staring off into the neon signs that were posted across the walls. Each one offering a new beer to try, a new way to get drunk, but he kept focused on them so he wouldn't have to look at her. She had diffused his intellect.

"God, what are we really doing here?"

"There's a question that can't be answered.

"Are you lonely? I mean, I am. I'd like to meet somebody. Go sailing on a cruise, do something with someone and life could just erase itself. You know what I mean?"

"Yeah. But aren't we killing enough brain cells here with all the drinks? Another couple of weeks and maybe we won't have to remember anything."

"But I want new memories."

"Then make them," he said.

"Easy to say, but it's hard to do."

"So is living life, doing taxes, having sex, going to college, keeping a job, and going to church on Sundays."

"What does that mean?"

"It means I'm lonely too."

She didn't say anything. He finally turned to look at her face. She had hazel eyes and red hair. She was probably Irish or some kind of European background.

"Can I get another one please?" she said motioning over the bartender.

He noticed she was drinking the same beer as he was, and now she was looking at him. It felt kind of touching, sort of like when someone buys you a gift you know you're going to return the next day.


-D.E.-2009