I’m getting ready to open, last thing I do, go to the coffee shop to get a couple things. I walk outside, and see one of my friend’s smoking a cig outside the tattoo shop down the block. Unfortunately, they’re getting kicked out in two days, building they’re in got sold, so sad day.
Hey, babe. I say. Thought I’d come pay my respects. She says, yep. Last day’s tomorrow. Wanna go take one more dump for old time sake? You know, I did eat a huge steak last night, so I’m expecting a big return. She says, go for it.
I go in, there’s boxes on the ground, all the dividing walls have been torn down. End of an era. I’ve been coming into the shop for ten years now. Last time.
I go in the bathroom, do my thing. I think, maybe I should finally get a tattoo. Maybe just a small dot, so I can say, yeah, I got a tattoo. A friend of mine in 1st grade stabbed me in the leg with a pencil, and it left a permanent mark. I can’t see it anymore. Maybe I could put it there.
I exit the bathroom. My friend’s there, I ask, are you doing any more tattoos? Yep, today. Two more tomorrow. I think for a second, then lose my nerve. All right, I say. I give her a hug. I’ll see you around. She says, all right.
I get back to the bar, open the doors. A girl comes in, orders a martini. I make it for her, she starts a tab. I brought three chocolate chip cookies with me in a ziplock. My mom made them for me.
I get one. And eat it.
From my heart to yours,
Clint Curtis. Bartender.