Monday, August 10, 2015
The Hard Case
He was sitting on a ratty barstool, his shoulders hunched over as if they were weighed down by the heaviest cloak of misery history has ever known. From time to time he would nod his head, keeping the rhythm of a song only he was privy to.
After a short while he looked up from the bar and over at the bartender, who walked towards him and asked if he wanted another. He thought about it for a few seconds and said, "Not one of these, I want a beer. What do you have on tap?"
The bartender, an older woman with a stern posture but an angels face turned towards the row of taps sticking out from the wall and called out the names of all ten brews - 2 stouts, 5 lagers, 2 IPAs and a hard cider.
He gazed past the bartender at the taps intently, and with his right hand pointed to one of the stouts. "I'll try the oatmeal stout." He said it slowly, as if he wasn't all that sure of his decision
"Coming right up" the bartender quipped while grabbing a frosted mug from the cooler. The bartender's pour was practiced to perfection and the beer was in front of the man with the world weary appearance in less than a minute.
The beer sat untouched in front of him for a good five minutes. His face was hanging down all the while, and for a moment I thought he must have passed out in that position. But then he reached out and grabbed the beer, brought it up to his mouth and in one long, loud chug, downed the entire pint. He set the empty glass on the bar and got up off the barstool and with a nod to the bartender said, "Be right back, gotta pee. I'll have another of those."