Disclaimer: This post will be profanity-laced, to hold true to the integrity of the story. If you get offended by this, please stop reading. Also, it’s a long one. If you get all butthurt about that, again, just don’t read.
The stories you can’t tell, are the stories you must tell. And here’s one.
I’m at the Mews. Metal show. Summer 2012. At the bar, there’s only 3 clean-cut, preppy looking guys. I’m sitting off to the side, they’ve been taken care of. They start playing quarters, on the bar, trying to make it into my tip pitcher. Clang! Clang! Clang! They are failing, quarters are flying behind the bar. This is getting to be annoying.
All of a sudden, one of the guys, reaches his hand behind my tip pitcher, and takes MY QUARTERS, MY TIPS. That’s it…I’ve seen enough.
I approach boldly. Excuse me, what do you think you’re doing? You just stole my tips.
What are you talking about, man. We GAVE you those quarters. And anyway, there’s a bunch of our quarters on the floor down there.
Let me get this straight, I say. You want ME to scrounge around behind the bar for the quarters you threw, for your stupid little game.
Hey, man, one of them says, I don’t like the tone of your voice.
Here’s what we’re gonna do, I say. I’m not going to kick you out of the bar. But you need to get up, and leave my bar area immediately.
What the fuck is your problem, man?
You’re my problem. You reach your hand over to my side of the bar and steal my tips. That I will not accept. Please. Leave. Now.
Fuck you. One of them says. We’re the only ones buying drinks off you!
That may be so, but you need to leave my sight NOW.
They get up, and walk angrily towards the stage, out of my sight.
After the show, they’re back at the bar. One of them is talking, LOUDLY, to a customer, so that I can hear.
This bartender is the biggest fucking asshole, etcetera. After 2 minutes of him berating me, I calmly say, thanks for coming in tonight, but it’s time for you to leave. He says, fuck you. I’ll say when it’s time for me to leave. Ok, that’s it, I say. You need to leave NOW. You know what you are, he says. You’re a fucking FAGGOT. And I bet your wife is ugly, too (he must see the ring).
Ok. GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE. NOW. I scream. GET OUT!!!!
He then proceeds to spit in my general direction, and walks out.
About 10 customers witness this. A young girl says, oh my God. I’ve never heard anyone talk to someone like that. Yeah, I said. My heart pounding in my throat.
1/2 hour later, one of the guys returns. Can I get a Captain and Coke, he asks, nonchalantly. What are you talking about, man? Are you completely INSANE?!? Did you not hear how your buddy talked to me? Hey man, sorry. That wasn’t me. I just want a drink.
The absolute nerve on this guy.
So, OK, FOR SOME REASON I SERVE HIM A DRINK. I don’t know why. Probably for the balls this guy has for coming back in. Or for the enormous stupidity.
After 5 minutes, his buddy, of course, walks in, sees him at the bar, and says, what the fuck are you doing? He turns around, walks out, but not without sweeping every flyer off the table in the foyer onto the hardwood floor.
By some strange, cosmic, coincidence only God could understand, 2 cops stroll into the bar a minute later, with hands on hips.
The buddy drinking the Captain and Coke sees them, and scurries away. I walk up to the cops.
How’s your night going? One of them asks. Actually, I just had an altercation with a customer. Oh yeah, he says. Where is he?
Man, I could’ve kissed this cop. I’m serious.
We walk out. I look around. Oh my God, what a dumbass. He’s standing in front of the Royal Mile, a bar next door, with his thumbs in the straps of a backpack, just shooting the shit with some guy sitting on the dirty ground.
I say to the cops, there he is. And point to him. The cops start walking. The guy sees them, does an about-face, and starts speed-walking. The cops sprint after him, spin him around, and cuff him. I walk up to him slowly. I take my time. It’s a thing called Poetic Justice. And my nerves are calming.
Is this the guy? The cop asks. Yep, that’s him, I say. He called me an asshole, a faggot, and said that my wife is ugly.
And then he mumbles, chin on chest, I’m sorry I said that about your wife.
Ha!! The cops and I have a quick chuckle about that. Then I say, you know, I kicked him out once, but then he came back.
The cop says, yeah, buddy. Guess you don’t know when to leave the party.
Fast forward to a year later, last night. I finish at the Mews early, and head over to the Lift, a martini bar 1/2 block down. I also work there, a couple nights a week. I walk up to the bar. Lisa the bartender says, hey Clint, do you know how to make a 4th Street Mimosa? Can you teach me? I said, well, I think I remember, it’s been awhile. Let me just make them. Thanks, Clint, she says. He wants 4.
I maneuver around the guy, get behind the bar, and start fixing the drinks. I’m not 100% sure how to make them, it’s been about 5 years since I’ve made one, and they’re off the menu. I put 4 martini glasses in front of the guy. I get a look at his face.
Yep, it’s him.
I pour the martinis without missing a beat. How’s your night tonight, my man? I say. He says fine, with his head down, looking away. He knows me. I say, you must have been coming here awhile. I haven’t made one of these in like 7 years. I pour the martinis, and put champagne on the top. Ok, my man. That’s $28. He hands me his card. I run it, checking the name on the card. Yep, same name, first initial E. It’s definitely the guy. I remember his name when I checked out his mugshot online.
Here you go, man. Enjoy those drinks. He signs his tab, hands out the martinis to his friends, and then takes a sip of his. His friend says to him, well, did he make em right? I overhear him say, sort of. I say, did I not make the drink right? He says, well, it takes Redbull, not champagne. Oh shit, I say. Take a sip and I’ll put some Redbull in it, if that’s ok with you. He obliges, and so I put more
in it. He takes a sip. Thanks, he said. Oh wait, dude. I said. I’m just messing with you. Take another sip and I’ll put some Redbull in it. He does, I pour the Redbull in. Hey man, take the rest of the can of Redbull, if the other guys want some. He looks at me in the eye, for the first time.
Thanks, he said. I appreciate it.
No problem, my friend.
And then another story is told. And the world moves an inch.
From my heart to yours,
Clint Curtis. Bartender.