The room is filled with contemptuous voices as the grunge of dark lighting and brick walls with aimless graffiti beg for uniqueness. But it is all the same, each and every bar cluttered like the rest.
Cheap laughter induced by drunken minds poorly hides the false confidence that stumbles about seeking an even more desolate soul to consume. Only to wake in a misery of a rotted guts and the anxieties of a blank night.
What brought me here but the repetition of familiarity. An addiction to the comforts of pain and drowning it in solace among the clutter of drunks.
But, just as I lean in to ask for another dose of fermented lies dipped in a callous euphoria. A slender man, much taller than myself dressed in a slim black sweater and lightly shimmering slacks complimented by black wood heeled dress shoes.
Leans in and says, “Could I interest you?….”
His slightly tinted eyes of red holding poise into mine as if he already knows what the outcome will be.
I reply, as I softly grip my empty glass wondering if his eyes truly are red or if it is just the awful back lighting of the bar, “Interest me in what?”
His eyes, still fixated on me and deals a smirk, “This….”
His left hand slowly unravels and upon his palm is a small bottle, no larger than a thumb.
I look at the bottom then up at him then one last time back at the bottle but with intent. Hoping to possibly reveal it contents of what the blue substance is.
After a quick hypothesis, which I could find no real conclusion as to what it could be I ask, “What is that? Some sort of drug?”
The man grips the tiny bottle between his thumb and index finger and places it on the bar. He looks at me with a look as if my naive state of the situation welcomes me as an easy sale.
He then replies, “ It is no drug my friend, well, not in the sense of word as you know it. It is more of a purity of existence in a bottle.”
Looking up at him with slight distrust and doubt, “Purity of existence? What, like LSD or some shit?…..I ain’t big on drugs so I’ll pass, thanks though man. There’s plenty of pity in this bar, I’m sure you can find your victim else where.”
The man leaving the bottle upon the bar. Turns away from me leaning his back against the bar and crosses his arms. Starring out among the inebriated crowd, “You do understand you are not like the rest of these people right? That your sorrow isn’t built by hatred of others or the existence of terrible things, nor do you blame the silence of your god?”
Perplexed by his response I lean back just enough to look the man in his eyes, “How do you know anything about me? I don’t even know who you are?!”
He peels back into a moment of silence drawing a still expression and turns toward me, “I know what I know because you know what you know yet do not fully comprehend. You are trapped by the subtleties of this brash and often violent reality, flesh and spirit.”
Looking at him with confusion yet a sense of understanding I asked, “Okay, enough of the riddled talk, what is it you want?”
Curling into a strangely villainous yet welcoming charm he says, “I merely want to show you who you are Cal.”
Hearing him say my name made my heart skip a beat. I could feel my heart pulsate into a feeling I had never felt before, almost as if it sank from falling while my eyes were shut.
Expressing a wide look of intrigue yet fear, “How do you know my name and who the hell are you?”
He laughs at me for a moment and says, “I’m the owner of this dreary establishment and it is my duty to know each and everyone one that walks into my home. Don’t you want to know those who enter your home? Or are you for the theft of your belongings?”
Weary to inject any further, but my buzzed state has loosened my judgment. The usual Friday night routine.
I reply, “I guess that makes sense, ID’s get checked and I’m assuming that light above the entry way has a camera? That would explain the very small out of place dome on the light. I have the same one at home in my kitchen, no black dome in the middle though.”
The man looks at me with a smile as if impressed and replies, “See Cal, that is why I like you, I have heard your conversations in moments of eaves dropping, you’re a detailed young man, especially for your age. Now, to cut the tension and the anonymity, my name is Ruse. Now, may we continue this conversation in my office? I think you’ll find yourself quite intrigued when you see what this, (grabbing the foreign substance), has to offer. Let’s bring life back into that marred mind of yours.”
Hesitant, yet with intention to play along I start to press myself from the bar and reply, “Well Ruse, you have sparked some embers of interest in my mind, but I doubt you’ll stoke a fire. But, shall we proceed, maybe you can at least bring entertainment to this night?”
To be continued 03/1/21…..