I’m cleaning up the bar, doing my usual duties. Everybody’s gone, I look at my watch, it’s 2am.
I go out to the atrium, to the front door, to make sure it’s locked, I look out, I see two guys outside, smoking cigarettes, talking.
I watch them for a good minute.
They’re mid-twenties. Looks like a couple upstanding guys. By the way they stand next to each other, they seem to be good friends. I can’t hear what they’re saying, but it’s something casual, one laughs, says something, the other, in turn, laughs.
I am struck by something intangible. A memory of myself twenty years ago, standing on a street outside a bar at 2am with a friend shooting the shit. I’m in my early 20’s, I’m in college, I have no responsibilities to speak of. No job. No kids. No wife. Maybe not even a girlfriend. Nobody to go home to, just me, maybe a roommate in the other room, snoring away.
We get so caught in the now, don’t we? We become transfixed on our lives in the present moment. But wait. Look at me, where I’ve been, and who I’ve become.
I look at these guys on the street, having fun, so casually. When was the last time I’ve had fun? I can’t remember. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy my life and that I’m (somewhat) content. It’s just I can’t remember the last time I really cut loose. I don’t drink anymore, I don’t smoke anymore, I have no where to escape to. I’m here, standing here,
It’s all me.
What if I just walked out there, asked the guys for a smoke? Smoked a glorious cigarette. Hey is there an after-hours? Yeah, my place, grab some beers, let’s go. I stay up ALL HOURS the sun is up, it’s blinding, I’m drunk, and where the hell am I?
But I don’t. I finish up mopping, lock the doors, go home, make an omelet, and watch some Netflix.
Some Korean revenge film.