Thursday, February 08, 2007

the knowing nod

I sat at my usual spot even though the debate in my head was still going on. The bar was empty expect for at the other end where two regulars where sitting. I know them both, to an extent but I didn't think to the point where they would feel slighted if I didn't sit with them. I hoped the bar would fill in.

The bartender was a guy I had never seen before and looked like he was cast straight from Hollywood to fill the roll of old Jack the bartender. He looked like he was no stranger to gin.

I gave a wave towards the other end when that first eye contact happened and then quickly turned and sipped my beer. My plan for solitude was going to work flawlessly, is what I thought as a chucked a bit as a still slowly sipped but then one of them called out my name.

"Hey, Tim. What ya doing way down there?" I briefly lost any smile I might have had until I laughed at myself for being a jerk and not sitting with them from the get-go.

Bobby is four years younger than me and he looks eight years older. He's not a bad guy but he's sensitive and nervous.

He knows I bring stuff in for the bartenders. He was telling me about the bond the two of us have because he brings stuff in to and he added another name to the group. The other guy usually brings in flowers, Bobby brings in gift certificates from Victoria's Secret, I'm known as the Godiva chocolate guy.

I was going to tell him how I'm different than either him or Roy but if he didn't know already, I thought it was kind of pointless to bring it up.

I bring other things besides chocolates but they usually fall into the comfort food area and what I more often than not will do is to not stick around after I give the gift. I'll leave, get it, give it and leave with a wave.

There are very few women one should give a gift certificate for lingerie to and flowers are a risky gift to unless they are subway flowers which will get throw away as soon as somebody's back is turn or maybe even not turned. Subway flowers are close to meaningless as a gift and are a border line nuisance.

It came up that I try to visit all the bartenders equally because I knew that they would call each other and ask if I was around and if I was seeing one more than the others, the others would let me know. "You should feel honored, man," Bobby said with a sense of awe. I had to glace over at him because although I knew he was being sincere, I had to get the visual confirmation from the look in his face.

I don't think there is a Noble prize for bartender favorite.

I wanted to tell him that the secret to my success is doing my best not to look like some creepy needy weirdo. I come in when I know it will be slow, I leave a decent tip, I ask questions about them and I don't get involved in conversations about how much I would like to 'do' them. I mostly just sipped my beer as Bobby talked. I'm a master of the shoulder shrug.

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