On Tuesdays Neeraj (NEKNEERAJ) posts an intriguing picture for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. The challenge this week, Pause, captured a woman sitting alone at a bar. I see so much of me in her. Written between 2 am and 3 am. Take that into consideration. Nocturnal blogging. Wave of the future.
Elyssa sat at the bar. One beer. One cigarette. The bartender, George, liked her. She was quiet. Didn’t ask for much. Always polite. She paid in crumpled bills and change, including a tip. She was aloof, rarely joining the bar’s conversation. A stranger’s attempt at a pick-up was met with knee to the groin. Yet, she gently asked George when someone missed their usual day, if there was a problem. Could she help?
George tended to several regulars like her. Their drinks limit might be higher, but they carried themselves with the same dignity and determination. The bar was their haven.
Phil had one or two on his way home to a vicious wife and a nasty son. She wouldn’t divorce him. She threated to kill herself if he left. The son was nothing but trouble. George and the regulars provided an empathetic ear.
Mary downsized after she lost her job. When her unemployment check arrived, she came in. Two mixed drinks. George often added a third, saying who ever just left paid for it. Mary nodded. She knew where it came from but let George play the anonymous game.
John’s family neglected to visit, or see if he needed anything. John was lonely except when he was sitting at George’s bar. People always spoke to him. Did he need a drive to the doctors? Did he need anything at the grocery store? John’s biological family forgot and ignored him. Friends at the bar never did.
George’s Bar closed several years ago when he died. Half boarded up, the building was the target of graffitists and a place for squatters.
Walking by you might hear the buzz of conversation. Laughter. George’s booming voice. Heart-felt queries. Problems being sorted out. Stories told to a caring audience.
George’s Bar remains a haven for his regulars.