An expression of my fascination with staring into the abyss, whether it be at the bottom of a bottle or the back of the mind.
Soft, golden light glints from polished oak. A handful of slumped figures scattered solemnly around the room break up the backdrop of well loved leather and wood. Even the occasional smoker's cough is muted by the quiet that resides in the very late night and very early morning. A man stands with his back turned to a wall lined with the sweet, slow poisons sought by his broken patrons. The patrons don't seem to notice him, as though he were just another shadow cast by the hooded lights.
The door swings gently open, depositing another vestige of humanity into the gloom. It slinks morosely to the bar and sits. A drink appears before this new apparition. The man behind the bar moves in, close but not crowding. His voice is quiet but clear in the haze of the room.
There's an insecurity that binds all mankind. It started as a need to survive in a world populated by beasts and spirits better suited to meeting needs. The beasts had claws and fur and pointy teeth to hunt and kill and keep out the cold, while man just had thumbs and poorly protected vitals and those silly looking external genitals. I mean sure those thumbs come in handy but at the cost of getting your essentials caught on the odd jutting underbrush... that's a debatable trade. Man had to make a real, creative effort to survive while the beasts simply started with all the advantages they needed. Its bound to make a fella a little insecure. But it doesn't stop there. After Man had carved out a little niche it actually got worse.
The slumped form before him has sat up and stares, rapt and gob-struck by the unexpectedly loquacious shadow-turned-man.
That insecurity turned a little to the left, made Man look upon other men in envy. One man was maybe a little bigger than another, or a little smarter, or maybe even had access to better mates. Of course, I speak of Man the animal, not man the gender. The socio-sexual labels bandied about have no role in our little story. Once Mankind had started to look within for targets it could only get worse. Luck and circumstance lead to greater and greater difference between people right out of the gate and that leads to... well to very nearly all the great tragedies of human history.
Now people toil their lives away trying to sate that insecurity, working to “earn” the things they want, wasting away under some illusion of entitlement. “I deserve to be famous”, “I deserve to be rich”, “I deserve that beautiful partner”. Never really understanding what having those things means, what getting those things entails.
The figure at the bar seems is lost to the telling. Sitting confused in the tide of the Barkeep's rant.
Now, I told you all of that to tell you most of this. I'm a bartender sure, but what does a bartender do. He provides a service. Listens to all the weird little stories that people wreck themselves with and gives them a little something to ease the pain. Gives them what they want, but hardly ever what they need. I like to think I go the extra mile, I give people what they want until they get what they need. I'm a Dealmaker and this is my bar.
Welcome to Irv's.