It happens once every few years in the bar trade, a sinking vessel limps into Port Barstool for a few weeks and unloads quantities of desperation, a strange fuel. These men, it's always men, are like barnacles stuck and drifting on the rotting hull of their lives. No friends, no lovers, the fury of the hand the only relief. And they find a bartender and suck on him until his marrow runs cold.
Such a vessel arrived in my bar recently. He bore gifts. First he made food for the waitress, an organic meal. He had sounded her out in casual conversation the night before, discovering her pleasure for the whole earth approach to life. "Every vegetable is pure," he told her. She threw it away, cautiously. He bought me off with a bottle of expensive wine - the reason? I had said hello to him while he was smoking outside. That was enough for friendship to break out, in his mind. Last night, he bought beer for anyone within range of his stickiness, and he took photographs of people - I love it when they smile, he said. Maybe he would look at the snaps of strangers while in his bath - these are my friends, he'd say.
Ditched. Going through life with never a second glance from anyone, doomed to perish unnoticed, unwanted. The doorman heard him say, I want to fire a cap into someone's ass.
No doubt he will be in his berth tonight when I get there. But soon the collective shunnery of staff and patron will rot him, and he'll drift out of Barstool Port, and sink, and no one will find his watery grave or care.