Well, well, well. Look what we have here! Are you new? You look it, but c’mon over and sit down. I know the bar is abnormally quiet for how full it is, but everybody’s in their head in the moment. Postcard memories go well with fresh pints, you know? Hey! Barkeep! Give this poor soul whatever they like; and, uh, put it on my tab!
What did you get? An IPA? Everyone drinks those…I think they taste wretched, like blended week old blunts, so I stick to my wines and mead, yaknowhatimsayin?
It’s okay to look around. Nobody in this place really cares, I mean, we all kinda staggered in here. Some are regulars. You see that wall? With the engraved pint glasses? That’s for the folks who downed 200 pints in a year. That’s a regular for you. Me? Not quite new, but not a regular. I don’t think I want to be…it’s not healthy, you know?
May I ask a personal question? What brought you in? If it’s too personal, sorry I asked. Really? You don’t say? Man, that’s bullshit. So let me get this straight…your brother, who is also your best friend, chose his fiancee’ over your relationship? Wow, man…that’s rough; you’re brothers and blood should always be thicker than water.
Do you see that girl over there? Well, she is transgender, post op, and finally comfortable in her own skin. Yeah, beautiful isn’t she? Well her best friend didn’t think so. When she told him that she couldn’t take being in a body that she couldn’t identify with, he just stone cold cut her off. No phone calls, no texts, nothing. He changed his number and even moved. They were best friends for 30 years? Childhood friends. Grew up on the same block kinda friends. She’s been here for a while. A regular. Sometime she goes outside but she never leaves the patio.
There’s another one. I don’t think he’s ever leaving and it makes me sad, but he’s gotta make the choice, right? Not the same story, but it’s bad. Best friend took his lady, but he didn’t want to see the signs when it was going down. He was a bit of an introvert – and got comfortable if you get my drift – so his best friend swooped down from the rafters and instead of telling his Lady to work it out with him, have an adult conversation about the relationship, he just plucked low hanging fruit. Sometimes BFFs are undercover rivals, you know. Well, at the end of the mess, the Lady is gone, the Bestie is crawling back for forgiveness and Sour Sam over there is torn between loyalty and the past. He once told me that said best friend always did shit like that to him…then time would heal all wounds and they’d be buddies again.
But this time was different. This time there was a ring involved. Life is funny that way. He has two glasses up there; I don’t know what’s going to kill him first: the heartbreak or cirrhosis.
Me? Well. Typical story. My both of my besties fell in love. Didn’t have a place for me anymore, despite our decades. Spouses didn’t want me in the picture; I was deemed competition. Yeah, I got married before either of them, but I always kept their opinion first…because we were friends. I would’ve taken a bullet for either of them without a second thought. It’s kinda pathetic to be sitting in here wallowing in my own shit despite having a wonderful marriage, but I had this strange sense of undying loyalty. They were there for me when I needed them and I never forgot that. Never. Did you know they’re both having, or had, kids and didn’t even tell me until after the fact? That’s when I knew my time was up in this place, I think. I drank long enough and wept long enough.
Speaking of which, could you do me a favor? Could you pass me my coat? Thanks. Hey Barkeep! Gimme the damage, will ya! And pour my friend another one! Looks like they need it!
Before I go, I want to give you a few words that others gave me:
Time. Patience. Boundaries. Forgiveness and Hope in that order.
Everything heals if you let it.
Friends are like lovers, if it was meant to be, they’ll come back. If not, well, they were there when “fate” needed them to be.
And, last but not least, be good to yourself and don’t hold grudges. Everyone is doing the best that they can.
I gotta go, but enjoy your pint, yea? I hope to see you on the street soon! It’s going to be a sunny week this week!
Don’t miss out!