When I poured my first pint, she was one. Now twenty years later, a million pints delivered, she received a glass from me, her bartender. Soft cheeks, on the face and no doubt down below, the age of drinking arrived for her, the path to a little hardness, or much damage for some. I had helped many on the road to alcoholic destruction. I served a man with liver cancer a beer.
This night, I had been smiling through my forced grin, a static grimace of effort, weathered, beaten up by years of shifts. And with clarity, and deep empathy, this twenty one year old Amercian beauty, with cast down eyes, looked at me and said, "Why are you so sad?" I looked at the fifty cent tip, as she walked away.