Large Richard

The bartender gave me his most sorrowful look as I limped to the bar.

He already knew what I wanted but went through the motions, perhaps out of pity, to ask anyway.

“What’ll it be?”

“Two beers.”

“That’s one for you and one for your friend over there?”

“Yeah.”

My hands wrapped tightly around the brews and I trudged back to my booth. I tried to prolong the trip back to him as much as I could stretch it. I wish I could just walk out the door and go home.

“Got the suds?”

“Yeah.”

“Aw, yeah!”

Nearly three-quarters of Richard’s beer was gone in one greedy slurp.

“You’re welcome.”

“About time, man. I was dying over here.”

“How much longer do we have to stick around here for?”

“Until I feel like leaving. That gon’ be a problem?”

I stared at Richard. I stared right through his fat face and into his shriveled soul.

“No.”

“Good,” Richard laughed. “Try to lighten up, would you? You asked me to hang with you, not the other way around. You used to literally drag me here.”

Richard slurped the last of his beer and gave me a “friendly” slap on the back that knocked the wind out of me. He was a large man and becoming less aware of his strength as he continued to feed beers into gullet at my expense. God, I hate this dude.

“Hey, Rich. I think that I’m gonna go hit the dancefloor, see if we can maybe find some women to hang out with tonight for once.”

“You think you’re gonna find a skirt, do you? By all means, then, Casablanca.”

I opened my mouth to correct him but decided against it. What would be the point? I sauntered towards the dancefloor and boldly hung out on the outside of the crowded throng.

As I awkwardly picked the label off of my beer bottle and did my best to stay out of Richard’s sight I could have sworn that I had heard someone speaking to me.

“Hello? I’m speaking to you!”

I recoiled in both the amazement that someone was talking to me at a bar and that someone was the most beautiful woman that I have ever seen.

“Y-yeah?” I sputtered.

“Is that your friend over there? The big guy?”

Of course.

“I know him. Why?”

The instant that my sentence was over my face met a lukewarm and sticky assault. I could taste the lime and cranberry as her cosmopolitan dripped down my face and onto my shirt.

“If you or that pig ever comes near one of my friends again we are pressing charges. Last chance, perverts!”

She stormed off and I was left standing with a drink on my face, no money in my wallet, and alone in a room full of strangers. The only thing that I had was the lesson that I had learned: finding women at the bar scene does not work better if you have a Big Dick.

Home Away From Home (I Love You, Man)

Warm lights glow, warm friendships grow.

This is home.

Spent all day invisible, I spent all day on my phone.
As a nobody to everybody.

But not here.

Here, your entrance elicits a standing ovation.
Hoots, hollers, and laughter fill the room on your arrival,
Here, all of your words fall on intent ears and sincere consideration.
It’s warm lights, warm people, and chilled beer,
It makes it all worthwhile, it’s an episode of ‘Cheers’.

Here,
All pretention is gone, nothing or no one is better in another’s eyes.
You can lower your shield, shed your disguise.
Life is pretty damn good as a barfly.

Come, all ye desk jockeys, scholars, rig pigs, hillbillies, the old and the young.
Come, here we are legion, here we are one.
No one’s too good for anyone, nor is one too classless to be here.
Hell, it’s not even cliché to my fellow patrons that twice I rhymed “Beers” with “Cheers”.

You can have a seat, get away from the grand workings of the world
That you’re too tired to understand
Not that you care, as you’re not part of the plan.

But here, on elbow floors of oak, you are king, jester and knight.

In great halls, in stoic stalls,
In the land of marble, basins, and waterfalls
Friday philosophers clash wits, anecdotes, and intellect.
On all matters of utmost importance
In life, death, religion, and politics
Clear messages of heated passion battle through slurred speech, twisted tongue, hiccups
-and interruption.

But here,
It’s all in fun, it’s to stimulate the mind
To explore new ideas, or just pass the time.
We’re all speakin’ the truth, with just the right amount of uncited sources,
And just the right amount of lies.

We may not agree but respect our loud, distorted discourse.
And just love the company, love to be heard.