"Any chance you work in the service industry?"
The dirty blonde bartender with tired blue eyes asks me this as I uncomfortably sit at the end of the bar in front of her prep station. The question takes a few moments to process. Odd abstractions come to mind but eventually I realize she’s not trying to reveal my “secret identity” as a loser who blogs about his lonely drunken excursions.
"Oh, uh, yes," I say in what I think is a suave tone, forcing myself to sit slightly more upright, "Why’s that?"
"It’s industry night. Half off drinks," she says politely before returning to her duties.
I nod and lower my eyes down at my notepad.
The last time I was here I was bitching to myself about the economic disparity in Poughkeepsie. Now, after the bartender tells me it’s industry night (hey I have bartended) and my drinks are half off this place doesn’t seem so bad.
I was a man of booze and chasing doomed romance. What else was there? Plenty, but whatever those things were they didn’t stir me. Not yet. I was saving convention and stability for my 30s.
I stare up at a murder of small batch bourbons slapping each other on the back, laughing and pointing at me. Lexington Bourbon, Bullet, Knob Creek, Stago, Jefferson’s Reserve, Woodward’s Reserve…a confederacy of crows waiting to fly down bastards throats.
At the other end of the bar, also with a notepad and pen, is a 41 year old redhead woman I’ve exchanged several messages with on OKCupid...