Saturday, May 17, 2008

One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer

Working in a bar gives you tremendous insight into the human soul. I can often tell a life story by the look on the face, the condition of the hands, and the type of drink ordered as soon as they sit down at the bar.

There are the married men, with wives at home, who come in somber and leave happy, with a pep in their step, having washed away any tension they brought in with them. There are the laborers and farmers, who come in dirty and tired, with soft spoken voices, just needing a few to take off the edge before they go home to their families. There are the women, some married, some not, with lonely etched deep into their eyes, searching for companionship in a glass of whiskey or wine. There are couples who come in and sit with very little conversation, until their 3rd drink when they can finally find words to share with each other. There are the hardcore drunks who come in early, quietly sipping until the evening settles in, when their voices seem louder by the hour and jokes come more frequently and the tips flow freely.

Our tavern is small, everyone knows everyone. There's not a lot of outwardly inappropriate behavior as far as adultery and things like that. (Not that it doesn't happen) And everyone knows that the people you are getting drunk with tonight are the same people you are going to sit in church with the next day! LOL! There is a lot of respect and camaraderie in our little farming community. And the people who are my regulars at the tavern seem to truly care about each other. Despite their issues, despite the heartaches, losses, and addictions. Most of them grew up here and have been friends since childhood. It's such a rare occurrence in my mind. Having grown up in 'town' people just don't relate to each other this way anymore. Except here. Strangers come in each weekend, but they rarely stay long. They just come in and soak up the atmosphere and greasy food and leave saying "Now we can finally say we made it out to this little tavern in the boonies we've heard so much about"... we are a novelty to them...but the regulars, are there every weekend, kind of like a redneck version of Cheers.

Regardless of the reason they escape into our little world of alcohol and atmosphere, they are all genuinely good hearted people. I know them well, I know their families well, and I enjoy their company. I take care of them, and they take care of me. We are a family....of some f'd up sort! LOL!


Shannon said...

It is much like this in the community where my sister lives. I love visiting, because even though I'm not a resident of this place - it feels like home. I know SO MANY people there and grew up visiting cousins and aunts and uncles for extended periods of time. I like to go to a place where everyone knows my name! Cheers!