Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pieces of You

There is a piece of you in everything that I write, which is a damn shame because really and truly, 'you' don't exist.  Well, that isn't strictly true, you do exist but only in my mind. You aren't yet complete, you are not quite the sum of your parts, yet.  Nevertheless, here you are in every blog post that I befoul with which I befoul the Internet. Most of the time you are a big part of what I write, sometimes merely a blip like an airplane on a radar screen in some darkened room that a harassed controller has to identify as friend or foe.

To me at least you are both, friend and foe. Friend in the fact that you are the inspiration for some of my finest lines, even though my fine lines are still dross, they are the best I can do. And, for the most part, they are directly related to, or inspired by you. Foe in the fact that you are also the reason that I write what has been called some really depressing shit. For without you, and the things we have done and shared, the dispirited part of me would not be writing things that make other people (not you of course) cry.  Oddly enough, you find that sentiment funny, which is even odder considering I am quite convinced you lack a true sens of humor. It is a part of the paradox that makes you, well you. The reason that you do 'exist' (in the broadest sense of the term), is because if you didn't I would have to invent you. However, make no mistake, I have invented you, or at least pieces of you.

Those pieces that I have painstakingly invented are the important bits, not the colour of your eyes, or your hair, or the size of your breasts. Those are mere details, details that do not overly concern me. Brown hair, red hair, blue hair, it matters not. Green eyes, brown eyes, red eyes make not one whit of difference. Flat chested, average sized breasts, or tits that hang down to your knees are not something to concern me overly much.  Those are the physical traits that aren't important to the story of you. The story that may or may not have a happy ending. The story of why there are only pieces of you.

Of course that is the problem. The fundamental stumbling block to you. The fact that as an entire being, you don't exist. You can't really fully exist, because if you did then I think I would cease to exist. My existence would fold into yours like a well folded blanket placed on a hospital bed by a well meaning nurse.  And, I have grown rather used to (if not entirely comfortable with) my existence. You see, it is the only existence I have known, and if my non-belief system is correct it will be the only existence I have, so you can see why I would be loathe to part with it just so you could fully become you.  Not that I expect you to care, or at least the parts of you that do exist. I can also see your point of view. If the situation were reversed then I wouldn't hesitate to steamroll over your existence like a Panzer division over some Polish lancers in order to bring myself into being.

However, I got here first, and as they (those unnamed bastards) taught me in property law, 'first in time, first in right.' Not that I have accomplished a massive amount of anything with my existence to date, and I doubt I'll be curing cancer, writing the great American novel, or scoring the game winning goal that secures Sweden the World Cup anytime soon, but I kind of feel like I should be given the chance. After all, I am pretty sure you are a monster. A 'monster of the id' if you will, a being that if you were to come into being would have little else in mind but ending my existence. For that I need no help.

And so, you will have to remain pieces only, small parts of you, scattered throughout the world, in different places, time zones, states, and countries. Little bits of your existence that are not allowed to coalesce into one solid form. You have to remain a potential being, a being that is a mere shadow, not allowed to take to the main stage, an actor who's part has not yet be fully written playing a role that doesn't exist yet. A role that I can not allow you to audition for, a role that can not be filled, a role that has to remain only partially written in the recesses of my own mind. A mind that is, in many ways, already at war with itself over your partial existence.  However, fear not, it is a mind that is loathe to and will never completely give you up, a mind that will continue to place little pieces of you in everything I write. I suspect you wouldn't have it any other way. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A Hatful of Rain

'He still misses you, you know?' These words caused her to stiffen slightly, as I expected they would. It was barely noticeable unless you are paid to notice the small things in life. I am paid to notice the small things, plus I already knew the effect my words would have on her. It was subtle, but a practiced eye such as mine noticed the stiffening of the spine, and the tightening of the grip on the knife she was employing to cut up the tomatoes for the salad she was preparing. A brief thought that perhaps bringing this subject up to her while she was holding a sharp object made for stabbing people was not such a good idea, did wander through my head, but by that time it was too late. The subject was up, and logic would dictate that it would have to be bedded down again probably before the salad would be served.

The intensity of the cutting also changed ever so slightly, and I let out a small sigh of relief that it was the tomato, not my kidneys, or spine, that were going to pay the knife tax as it were. I figured she wasn't really receptive to what I had to say, but I felt duty bound to say it anyway. After all, the 'he' in question was what some people would call my best friend. Part of the problem with best friends is they make you feel that way, duty bound. Also, I wasn't entirely certain that he returned the feeling, i.e I think he was my best friend, but I wasn't sure that I was his best friend. Hell, on certain days I wasn't even sure we were friends at all, or that he had a best (or any) friend(s). 

However, being a loyal bastard, I still felt the need to 'help.' After all, helping people with their problems help the rest of us forget our own problems for a while. I can fix your life easy as pie, my own life, well that is another story entirely. Why not try to fix the problems I can see, and ignore the problems I have? That way I get to feel like I've accomplished something, and maybe even feel slightly superior, and feeling superior around him took a lot of effort. He made people feel 'like a frog being boiled alive' a point of pride. Making other people feel inferior was both a science and an art form with him, and I was never really sure whether he did it on purpose or not.  I like to think that he did it mostly by accident, but every now and then when you saw him in 'full voice' with the ever so hard to distinguish sneer in his voice, I became fairly certain he could 'boil a frog' whenever he felt like it.

'He would probably shank me if he knew I was saying anything at all, but I know he misses you horribly.' She hadn't bothered to turn around, and truth be told, I found it a lot easier to give my little prepared speech to her back. Sometimes looking people in the eye is a lot tougher in real life that it seems on TV. Besides, I am not the wordsmith of the group, that was him, the guy with a clever (or so he liked to think) saying for almost any situation. I was the plodder, the one you came to when you wanted something explained in easy to understand terms, and did not want to be made to feel an idiot for asking a simple question. I also knew that since we were not alone, I had a limited time to say my piece. Her patience with this subject, I knew very well, was going to be very limited, and there are only so many tomatoes that can die a valiant death to spruce up a salad.

'He thinks he's being clever, when he mentions something about you on a daily basis, but he's not' 'He thinks I am not hearing the shake in his voice, the subtle change in timbre that clues me into the emotion lying underneath.'  Once again no response, though I didn't really expect one, she was good at not responding until it was time, he had told me that about her, telling me that it was one of the more remarkable things about her. A trait that he thought was 'better than a painting by Van Gogh.'  I am not much of an art admirer, but I took him at his word. And, as she stood there in the kitchen either waiting for me to finish, or plotting where to stab me, I realized he was right. The ability to wait until the other person has finished talking is an ability that we all (him especially) need to learn.

'I know he treated you like rubbish, mainly because he told me all about it on a daily basis.' 'It made me want to stab him myself.' 'Watching his arrogance, and his idiocy.' 'It was painful to watch, almost as painful as his remorse, and his self-loathing.' Truth be told I have never seen a man so self-centered that has such a complete lack of self awareness.  I knew she was listening because the tomato supply had been exhausted, and the salad was ready, but she hadn't moved an inch from the spot where she was when I came into the kitchen. It was an odd feeling, like we were drag racing time, and winning. That we had somehow made ourselves a 'time bubble' that the other guests at this little party were not allowed to penetrate. I also knew that it couldn't last that she would have to turn around eventually, and my temporary eloquence would fade immediately.  I knew that she probably wasn't going to change her mind, and to be honest I didn't blame her. I just felt the need to express my opinion for what it was worth.

It was just my opinion, but one that was based on a considerable amount of time listening to his lies. The lies he told himself daily in our office, the lies he told himself to convince himself that he had moved on with his life (such as it was).  On occasion, after we had left the office, and he was in his cups a bit, he would admit to these lies. With an overdone flourish of his hands (he liked to talk with his hands), he would proclaim 'at least I am being honest with you about my lies.' Then he would wink at me like I was depriving a village of a perfectly good idiot, and order us another round. 'Look we both know he is an idiot walking some sort of tightrope between despondency, and euphoria.' 'But he is my best friend, and I don't think I want to see him fall off of that tightrope on the side of despondency.' 'You, for whatever reason seemed to make him happy, or at least happy for him, which I know isn't exactly happy, but beggars can't be choosers.'  'I also understand if, after this, you don't really want to talk to me either, but I just wanted you to know that he misses you like a clown misses the circus.' 'And yes before you ask I stole that line from him.'

Still not getting a response, and realizing that I probably wasn't going to get one, and that my 'time bubble' was close to bursting, I turned towards the door. I knew that the over tomatoed salad was just the first course in the meal we were about to share, and that people other than myself were probably getting hungry. 'I just wanted you to know what I think, and what I see, I understand if you don't have anything to say.' As I turned to go back to the party, she finally managed to turn around, and with a world weary sigh that could have meant anything said 'Tell him this . . . .'

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Doctor Lies

The image above is of Matt Smith playing the 11th incarnation of Dr. Who, a classical British science fiction series that goes back to 1963.  'Someone I used to know' turned me on to watching the (rebooted) Doctor, and for that I will be forever grateful.  However, they also forced me to watch all 88 episodes of 30 Rock as well, so I am not THAT grateful (I am a comedy snob, I hated the show). Either way, I guess I still came out ahead in the bargain, because now I can watch all the Dr. Who I want.  M. Smith is the 11th doctor, and is the first one that I saw play the part. Like most things in my life I seem to start at the wrong end, and work my way backwards.

There is a expression connected to the show that states 'you'll always remember your first doctor'. I have found that to be true, I have gone back and watched some of the 9th and 10th doctor's but I (unlike some) prefer number 11. He was my first, and maybe watching Dr. Who is like losing your virginity, the first one is always special.  I like the show so much that I went out, and bought my very own sonic screwdriver. Alas, my version does not open every lock in the universe, but it was worth a try. Somethings only the Doctor can do.  The ginger next to the Doctor is one of his companions, Amelia Pond, the Doctor is fond of young, nubile women as traveling companions, and who is to blame him?  I am also a BIG fan of Mlle. Pond, an admiration that used to cause me a lot of grief. 

The point of this post, if it is to have a point, is that our Time Lord from Gallifrey has a number one rule. He has a bunch of rules, but the number one rule, the rule you must always remember, the rule you have to base your entire relationship with him upon, the rule that you can not forget no matter how many monsters are at the door to the TARDIS, is that the Doctor Lies.  Ignore, or forget that rule to your cost. The Doctor didn't get to be his advanced age by telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. A Time Lord operates under a whole different set of ethical rules that the 7 billion people on this planet, and you don't get the title 'Destroyer of Worlds' for being the white hat type of hero.  In fact the 11th Doctor has been told on numerous occasion that the word 'doctor' has taken on a different meaning in various other cultures within which his fame has spread. It mean 'Mighty Warrior' to a number of people, and that should tell you a lot about the Doctor's personality.

I have shamelessly stolen the Doctor's number one rule with regards to this blog. I lie, I lie a lot, and I also think that if you lie, you should lie extravagantly. We all all lie, and we have all been lied to, until the day we die, we will be both liars and lied to. It is just merely an outgrowth of being human. We don't get to regenerate, or have two hearts like the Doctor, we are human, we have one heart, and when it breaks it hurts all the more for being the only one we have. Things that my vast readership get the joy of reading in these pages are not always true. I usually respond to the question of 'who/what was your latest post about?' with the answer 'I have an imagination, you know.'  Well, I do have an imagination, and I bolster that imagination with a very refined ability, and an undying passion for lying.

If any of my readers see or think they see themselves in a post, or if several readers see or think they see themselves in one post, then I am (in my opinion) lying well. If you know me, and have talked to me before, and then read my post and hear my voice in your head, then I am lying well. I don't (always) lie, nor when I lie do I (always) mean to be hurtful. But sometimes mistakes are made, and people's feelings get hurt. I also have a saying about feelings and them getting hurt, but that applies only to my own feelings, not to anyone else's.  I suppose that is about as close to a 'reader be ware' message as I am going to come, and I hope that if I have managed to hurt anyone's feelings that they realize I am 'so sorry' for doing it. I would suspect that part of the reason I have done that is because I have violated another of the Doctor's rules the one that states 'when you are scared don't run.'

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Morning limped into my room today, just like it has for the past 40 plus years. Bringing with it the beginning of another indistinguishable day. The moon is on its way out of the brightening sky, and the incessant noise of my alarm clock is making me regret the pint night I partook of last evening. I wish that I could transfer that alarm to my worst enemy, that being the bartender that was 'happy to see me' i.e. pour me pint after pint until I listed like a Spanish galleon homeward.  However, I am sure that barkeep is sound asleep, safe in the knowledge that she successfully got me drunk enough to entertain her again.

Since I am not King, Emperor, or even a Crown Prince (drinking Crown Royal does not, it seems, bestow royalty upon a person), I will have to answer the clarion call of that fucking alarm that is buzzing every 9 minutes. Telling me 'hey playboy its time to get up, and by up I mean out of this warm bed, and get your fat ass to work.' It would appear my alarm is invested with the same time of sense of humour that makes my friends want to punch me on occasion. However, since I am in danger of being crushed by the sunbeam entering my room, I suppose I should toddle off to the shower. Over I roll, and I roll quite well, and to my quite unexpected surprise find that there appears to be another warm body occupying about 60 percent of my nice, warm bed. Not that the other body is that big mind you, it just seems she is a bit of a bed hog.  Well this is both exciting and unexpected, and since I wear contacts, being blind as a bat without them, I squint over in her general direction to attempt to ascertain if I took a stranger home, or maybe it's the bartender that decided to get me shit-housed. Surely it can not be her, after all who would have been minding the bar if she went home with me?

Luckily for me, she is still drooling the drool of remorse into my guest pillow of regret. I ever so gently grope for the glasses that will solve the mystery of her identity, and discover, to my surprise, a whole heap of condoms on the bedside table. I think to myself 'Well those weren't there when I left to go out, so she must be a well prepared girl, god bless her.'  I like a woman that comes to the party prepared, and knowing what she wants, and how to get it.  Unsuccessful in locating my glasses, I decide to risk a closer inspection of my temporary bed mate. After all if what I think happened, did happen then I suspect she has already passed (at least to drunk me) the 'eyeball' test.

In fact, she has clearly, judging by both her, and my lack of clothing passed more than just the eyeball test. Well, I never claimed to be anything other than easy, and I certainly hope that won't be held against me. The alarm has now been told to calm down, and quietly shut down. After all, the fates have blessed me with a nice warm woman in my bed in the morning, I feel obligated to at least start the day out 'right'.  As long as this nice girl is agreeable to that, then this day might not be as much of a clanger that my hangover would suggest.  Since I at least pretend to be a gentlemen (even being a member of a newly formed club for gentlemen), I will not kiss (wink wink) and tell. Nor will I shame my lovely companion by giving away her identity. This is how every night should end, and every day begin.

Friday, April 13, 2012


I am not a writer, nor will I ever become one. I have never been published, unless you count 'published' as either this blog or certain things I have written about my boss' (lack of) sexual prowess, and my ex's phone number (for a good time call) on certain bathroom walls. I doubt that is published in the conventional usage of the word, and I doubt that some desperate press will come, and take me away from my day job, and make me an author anytime soon.

However, I do read a lot, and I read a lot of obscure stuff. I like to think my reading is fairly extensive, and diverse enough to allow me to recognize both good and bad writing when I see it (or rather read it). That being said I have spent the lack few days reading a book who's author won the Nobel Prize for Literature. It wasn't solely for this book, but he didn't write a terrible lot of books, so I figure this book, in theory, had a lot to do with his winning the prize all author's aspire to win. I won't name this fellow by name, since I don't want to slander anyone. I will say that he is dead, which might not be a bad thing, and at some point in this post (though I won't tell you where) I will use the title of the book I have been reading by him.

Simply put, the book is awful. I mean that in the best possible way, but it is awful. The writing is a bit turgid, and the story is really nothing to get excited about. In my humble opinion a good book needs a least 2 of the following 3 things (at least). Good writing, good characters, or a good story. Those are the 3 basic things a book needs, in my opinion, to be 'good'. You can get by with a weakness in one category if you make it up with more strength in another. For example if your characters are a bit weak, or unsympathetic, then you better be a really good wordsmith, or have a really good story. It is hard to do, or we would all be in the running for the Grand Prize, but I (and call me old fashioned) think that a fellow who wins the Nobel Prize should be able to churn out a book that meets these requirements.

Of course, I am not on the selection committee, nor will I ever be, but I figure that I have read enough to be able to judge a book's worth. At least its worth to me, which is mainly all I care about, me.  This book fails in all three categories mentioned above. The writing, by that I mean the sentence structure, the imagery, the actual words used, is adequate at best. The author is able to describe a scene well enough, and does fairly well with dialogue, but it is nothing special. It is workmanlike at best. Which would be fine, if the other two needs were met. Sadly (for me, the reader) they are not. Not a single character in the book (and I will admit I gave up after half way, but if you are waiting until after half way to introduce your first decent character, you are requiring quite an act of faith from your reader), is in any way, sympathetic or a character you feel any sort of connection to. I don't need heroic characters, in some ways a good villain is a lot more fun to have around, but I need a character who's appearance on the page doesn't make me groan with despair.

This book, that helped this fellow win the Nobel fucking Prize lacks any single character that makes me care even they are mentioned ever again. That is not a good sign. The story which I won't detail so as not to give away the book isn't particularly good either. There is no real mystery to the plot, no reason for this story to really be told. I am sure that the author is trying to tell his readers something, and maybe I am just too dense to 'get it' but I figure that if I don't get it neither will a lot of people. It is great to be vague (I should know), but at some point a story has to be told, one that makes the reader want to get to the end. It doesn't have to be action packed, or some great mystery solved, or full of explosions, but there needs to be a story that keeps me interested especially if your characters stink, and your writing is average.

Like I said, my opinion, is just that my opinion, and isn't worth the time it has taken to type this little rant, but I feel a bit cheated in the end because I know/hope that if this guy can win the Nobel Prize for this crap, then maybe I need to quit the day job, run off to Paris, and write my own novel. I lack the courage ( I think to do this), but after reading this dross of a book, maybe it isn't such a far fetched idea after all.  Free copies will of course be provided to my massive readership, that should get rid of a least 4 copies.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


The German author, Friedrich Traugott Gubler, once said of his friend, the Austrian writer Joseph Roth, that 'Roth should always be sad; the sadder he is, the better he writes.'  Now that comment may or may not have been true, I wasn't lucky enough to be alive at the time Roth was, and so I didn't get to know him, and it is very difficult some 80 years after his death to read his most well written passages and divine the mood behind them. In many ways, that makes me sad, I think me and Herr Roth would have gotten along like a house on fire. Of course he had talent, and I don't but I think we could have overcome that problem over several glasses of schnapps.

Which is to say that Roth was a raging alcoholic, and it would eventually be his undoing, but that is a post for a later day. I have recently read his collected letters, and therefore, being the impressionable sort, you can expect at least two more "Joseph Roth" posts sometime in the future. I have read quite a bit of Roth's writings, and I have also read Stefan Zweig's writing. Roth and Zweig were friends, and frequent correspondents, and many of the letters in the book I read are their letters back and forth to one another. It was mentioned by the editor of the book that Roth was 10 times the writer that Zweig was, and that Zweig acknowledged that. If that is the case, and I have no reason to doubt its truth, then Roth must have been one HELL of a writer, because I've been moved to tears by the brilliance of Zweig's prose on more than one occasion.  Yes, even I can weep when I am 'inspired' or in this case humbled. Reading 'true' writers can be a very humbling experience. Guys would can take the most mundane of situations, or words and turn them into something that should be inscribed in the annals of history for all of the world to read.

The quote about Roth and his sadness being his inspiration led me to thinking, something that usually pains me, but in this case it pained me even more. I have a sneaky suspicion that it might be true about me as well. If I write well at all, which is of course open to debate, I think it happens when I am saddest. Which, luckily for me, has happened a lot lately. Also, in an abundance of good fortune, even when I am blessed with a respite of happiness, I have several sources of sadness on which to draw. Sources that can, without even really trying, make the black clouds reappear in my brief sunny day. I don't know if these sources are doing it on purpose, and I certainly hope they aren't, but I am not sure. All I am sure about it that when I tap them sadness flows like beer from a keg. And like real beer, I drink this 'beer of sadness' down to the dregs. It makes for many a maudlin evening spent downing drinks with the several 'shifts' of my friends required to keep me company over the course of a night.

I had hopes of shedding this sadness that makes me a 'better writer' but after a considerable time spent alone, and thinking about it, I don't think I can. I think that perhaps, I am stuck with it, whether I want it or not. I also think that for the most part it is exactly one person's fault. Mine own. There should be, in theory, a way to shed this sadness. After all, if I made it, or allow it to happen, then who better to fix it, or to stop it from happening. I am not the swiftest horse in the stable, but I figure I would at least be on the board in that race, but I cannot for the life of me, fix this.

Of course, maybe fixing it isn't really the point. I am sure there are some pretty pills that could help, or maybe I need to find Jesus, or get out of the house into the sun more often.  All of this things might help, they might fix me, if that is possible, or they might not. I am sure that, in theory, I should at least try, but in the fixing of me, isn't something going to be lost? The sad part of me, the part that might be the part writing this 'pity party' (for I am sure I know people that will call it that) might be eradicated, wiped out as it where. If that were to happen, it might be the best thing to have ever happened to me (though, sadly I think that the best thing to have happened to me as already happened, and I missed it, and/or pissed it away).

Happy me, jolly me, if he were to come into an almost full time existence, might be a lot of fun to be around. Hell, he might even be a lot of fun to BE, but would it be the same me? The 'me' that is still here in my 'lime tree bower', doing the math and having the numbers not match, and wondering if the candle is really worth the game. That 'me' the one that most of my 'friends' know, the one that can always be on call for a quick pint or five, the one that is typing this (I hope) decent blog post about himself, would cease to be. Out of existence like the dodo bird, of which I have a lot in common by the way.  Perhaps this latest sadness shall pass, as several have in the past. But, in their passing, these saddnesses have each left a bruise or two on the black thing in my centre that passes for my soul.

Those bruises, as we shall call them, never actually fully heal. In many ways, calling them bruises is a misnomer, they should be called marks. Each of those marks stands for something, usually something of import, something that should have been and wasn't or, (worse maybe) something that was and shouldn't have been. It makes little difference to the small soul I possess, all it knows is that it has been inevitably changed, and probably not for the better.  Eventually, and probably sooner rather than later, these marks will 'cover up' my entire soul. It will become indistinguishable, and will probably just drown in a sea of sadness. However, it hasn't yet, and considering I am probably past the half way point of my life, this could be considered a positive sign. Here's hoping. 

Monday, April 02, 2012

Of Goblins, Monkeys, and Crosses

Real writers, by that I mean people other than me, have gotten their inspiration from all sorts of places. Quite a number of them have found their muse in a bar, or in several bars.  I too have seen all sorts of blog inspiring activity going on at my local(s). However bar inspiration is a tricky, tricky thing. You have to go to the bar to find it, but while you are at the bar you have to do what comes naturally, which is to get sauced, right?  A double edged sword in more than one way ( a four edged sword?). Two problems present themselves almost immediately. One you have to be there for the inspiration, but you can't get so drunk that you forget what inspired you. This is VERY difficult to accomplish. A pen and a piece of paper is useful, but in the modern world a i phone with a 'notes' application will be sufficient. The second problem is you have to stay sober(ish) enough to not provide inspiration for some other aspiring Ernest Hemingway. Also, quite tricky especially if your bartender likes to sometimes see how drunk they can get you.

These tales that I can regale you with aren't really that exciting, but they are a slice of American life as it were, and can, in the proper hands, and frame of mind provide at least some entertainment. Shall we start with the guy who drinks PBR in a glass with ice and a cherry through a straw? I think this is, or at least should be, against the law, and it takes a lot of effort not to punch the offender in the face. I mean PBR is a bad enough sin, but with fruit, over ice, through a straw? Outrageous, shameful, and downright awful. Or shall we discuss the other fellow who brings a 'drinking' glove to the bar? I've no idea why, and I don't really want to ask. Maybe his palms are sensitive to cold? Or the older gentleman with a hearing aid that he turns off 'when people start talking shit that I don't want to hear.'  Or the extremely buff fellow that looked like he just came out of the gym going home with a girl my size, and I am not a small man. Or how about the fellow that has to be helped out of the bar by two of his buddies holding him vertical at 8 p.m? I want to party with that guy for sure. Or, the fellow who plays pool wearing two gloves, if you wear two gloves while playing pool, you had better be pretty fucking good, from what I could tell he wasn't that good, and that is just wrong.

 Or we can talk about the bartenders? The one that, for my misdeeds, rightly refuses to serve me, or the one that I can have entire conversations with without either one of us speaking a word? Or the one that just keeps getting fired, and is about to be homeless? Or the one with the girlfriend doing a semester in Cambridge that still did the old fashioned writing letters thing. The one that heard I was a dab hand with words, and wanted me to help him with the letters. I helped him as best I could after all he had done the hard part, he had the feelings, my part was easy putting them into words. The wait staff are a professional drunks best friend. They sometimes tell us that 'hey your bar tab is getting to be awfully high' or better yet they call us a cab when they realize that even a pro like ourselves is too drunk to make it home alive.

 These are the places where you walk in, and they call you by your first name, and have a pint of your choice of beer poured before your ass hits the seat. It is almost too comfortable, a place where you can get as tight as you want, and know that you will be looked after. As long as you take care of them, they will take care of you. You have your profession of drunk, they are bartender(s) it is a clear, simple relationship, and even if the lines sometimes blur it is one of the more important relationships you will create. You can't tell your boss some of the shit your tell your bartender, if you weren't out sinning against the world in the presence of your bartender, you wouldn't have anything to tell your priest, and you certainly can't tell the wife at home all the troubles you can unburden to your bartender.

If you're dedicated enough, you will go through several bartenders in your drinking career, some of them will fade into the mists of time and booze, and become somebody that you used to know, some may show up at your wedding, and not in a professional capacity, some will be there when your buddies (they count among that group) will pour the last drink you'll ever get on your grave. They are a diverse lot, and for the most part if you are not an idiot drunk, or a madman they will probably at least be very civil towards you. They do work on tips, but a good bartender, a bartender that you've established a rapport with, will not be concerned with your tipping. After all, if they are good at what they do, and you have any sort of breeding whatsoever, you will over tip them on principle.  Good bartenders are hard to find, and over tipping is a sign of both respect for them as a professional, and a way of paying them back the good turns they will eventually do for you. And you will need good turns done for you, because at some point they will get you drunk enough so that you will need to be turned and pointed in the direction of your house. That is the revenge (so to speak) of a good bartender sometimes they like to get your hammered for their entertainment, after all drunk you can be quite the spectacle, or so at least you've heard. Most of the time you make a spectacle of yourself, you wake up with little memory of the event, for that you should thank (and write this type of 'love song to) your pal, the bartender.