Saturday night, stool-side at my usual digs, the corner wine bar. I come here to write in the evening, when it’s time to switch from coffee to beer.
“I have Stone on tap. Interested?” The bar tender knows me. I’m past the initial flinching at that recognition.
“Looks like you have two.”
“Yep, this one has pineapple and tangerine with a…” Jason, I think I call him (I hope that’s his name).
“Whoa, no fruit in my beer,” interrupting his pitch.
That first sip…not sure which bliss compares aptly, not quite orgasm, but not far below. Not three steps, anyhow.
Uh oh, the guy next to me peers over at my screen and squints.
“How do you see that tiny print? I mean it’s so…”
“I manage.” Yeah, I’m a bitch. Pick a different intro.
My stinky fries arrive just then, anyhow. The sirracha-ketchup is the bomb.
Long day nerding over AI and healthcare. Auditioning a piece for a real journal. I’ve claimed expertise in the area, but it’s really just gushing sci-fi enthusiasm. Yes, I’ve written a few thousand words on it for my weekly health tech start-up gig, but this is big-time. My head’s a bit spinny.
“Ready for another?”
Shit, I washed down half the fries with an entire tall one already?
I still have a half plate of stinkies. It’s the melted cheese over them that lends them their title. Ah, I’m going to hell anyhow. As my father reminds me daily, “I’m going where it’s warm.”
cacophony and rum
Naked fries with Sriracha ketchup, where have you been all my life?
I’m not one to sit down to a plate of fries, unless of course, they’re those thin-strip bistro fries, crisp and deep golden. Limp fries never tempt me. I can do without the whole deep-fried potato thing altogether, but when the week has been exceptionally long…Fries and Sriracha. Yes.
Why do crowded happy hour bars feature at least one loud cackler and one deep-throated shouter? Modulate your voice, please. I used to request my children do that. Indoor voice. What hilarity drives that savage slicing squawking? I guess I’m more the philosophical buzz type. And so.
A big grinning bearded fellow with a bandito hat and a zip-up black windbreaker high fives the bartender and my happy hour is complete. Suddenly, venturing out of the cave with trepidation (No, not peopling!) seems worth it. The bartender shakes not stirs in icy loud agreement.
As the beer and wine flow, the last fry dipped, and a dribble of Stone left in the glass, it may be time to open up some bar space for those making a night of this cacophony and rum. Especially since I can’t take my eyes off the red-plaid sports jacket complemented by the solid red tie across the bar. Shouldn’t there be a warning sign attached to him? Don’t stare into the red. It’ll change your DNA irreparably. Too late for me.
And I make the Nike air check sign to the bartender.