March 1999
s m u g
Steve Gilliard

Note: We are currently seeking solicitations for Mysterydates: Field reports from places most people don't go - like CONS, boat shows, livestock auctions, large public niche events. If you have something in your area you'd like to write about, please write the editor

After Hours

You've probably never seen a bar after closing.

Working in a bar is working. It's fending off drunks, running along the bar for hours, serving drink after drink, sucking down your cigarette fumes, handling cash.

When closing time comes, the one thing they want most on earth is to see your ass move out of the door. They don't care about your hook ups, your puking, your drowning your sorrows. It is 4 AM, they are tired, and they want to grab some sleep before the sun comes up.

Some nights, its a grind. There's money to be counted, bottles to be wiped down. bars to be cleaned, all at the end of the day. No turning off the computer and walking away. No kicking back.

A closed bar feels empty. The lights are all up, the gate down, the mystique that dim lighting and smoke brings ends. It is often seedy, worn, every imperfection examined in the light, glaring down on every stain, rip and nick.

The floor of a bar grows black over a night. Beer spills, cigarette tar, money, dirt, everything. The Mexican guys who take care of the cleaning, run brooms up and down the floor, then the mop.

The bartenders, the managers and owner count the cash , pay off the bouncers and staff, since bars are cash businesses, and then relax. Some nights, you just want to go home. The night has kicked your ass and you just want to close your eyes and go to bed.

Other nights, well, they are a bit different. You have a bar to yourself and that is a dangerous thing. Free beer, shots and only the morning to deal with.

In a closed bar, the porno comes on, because porno is the only thing worth watching at 5 AM with a black box cable descrambler. Then, its time to drink. The draft beer gets filled, the shots poured and the stories get all crazy and dirty.

Nothing like an empty bar for a dirty story or drunken argument. Everyone is a buddy and the hour is late.

Most guys think, if they work hard enough, that they can pick up a bartender. They have a better chance winning Lotto. The owner and manager check everyone out. That is if one of them isn't trying to make time with her first.

The only guy that is going to get a shot is one they either like or know. Leaving with some drunken asshole just is not in the cards. No matter how hard you play it.

At some point, the sun will rise. Sunrise is a good time. The streets are empty, except for the bread trucks and newspaper guys. The occasional bus passes by. It is quiet, but clean, the mystery of the night gone, replaced by the hope of a new day.

It is time for eggs.

Eggs are the only way to end a night of drinking. Usually scrambled, with bacon or, if you're lucky, Kielbasa. Nothing too heavy. A bacon cheeseburger after a night of drinking will sit like an anvil on your stomach. Forget calories. Forget cholesterol. If you wanted to be healthy, you would have left after two beers or drank club soda all night.

Scrambled eggs, when done right, are soft and fluffy. The butter on the whole wheat toast with a slight smear of grape jelly, or maybe if truly lucky, apple jelly, some hard fried bacon or Kielbasa cooked with the eggs and some fresh orange juice are the perfect post drink meal.

Sometimes, you can get that thick bread French Toast instead. The thin syrup running over the bread cut into big chunks, sitting there, waiting to get devoured.

Eggs are to the morning what scotch is to the start of a steak dinner, a perfect compliment.

Finally, the night is over. It has to end because you need to sleep. No, you are about to fall asleep and your bed is calling you. Most mornings, and by the time you're read to leave, its morning, you're in a cab. Forget the train. There is nothing like missing your stop and ending up at the other end of the city, tired and unable to sleep. The money saved just isn't worth it. Not when your bed is calling you.

Crawling into bed isn't a choice, but a mandatory act. You are spent, the booze in every pore of your body. The room is no longer spinning, but doing a samba. You drift off to sleep knowing you have seen what few others have and if you can recover, you'd like to do it again.

in the junk drawer

and such
and such

·feature· ·net worth· ·ac/dc· ·smoking jacket· ·ear candy· ·feed hollywood· ·target audience· ·back issues· ·compulsion· ·posedown· ·the biswick files· ·mystery date· ·and such and such· ·blab· ·kissing booth·

·contents· ·freakshow· ·fan club· ·archive·


copyright © 1996 - 1999 fearless media