am seated up at the bar, parched on one of those high stools and dangling my feet…thinking of why again I chose this specific lounge.The devil’s piss reeks in every corner, thirsty looking lads in faded denim jackets and worn out vans keep throwing glances at me. They aren’t those sexy looking ones that made Alejandro a hit in many households, no! Those kinds make you hold on to your wallet with a death grip and pray your brother is awake in case you need to hit speed dial.
In so many terms, am in a very shitty bar and am about to give up when he walks in. Droopy eyes, shirt sleeves rolled up and the world on his shoulders weighing him down on the stool. He is a tall glass of testosterone and so his feet don’t dangle. Lucky bastard, short man syndrome taking the best of me. “Whiskey, double. And keep the bottle close by.” He downs it all in one gulp and winces as the venom shoots up his veins. “Another!”
I sit so tentatively at my corner as I slowly make my way down my juice box…sipping lightly with a whole lot of class and sugar in a hole of ants. My dewy eyes sizing the length of him and asking myself over and over again what it really is am looking for in this forsaken dungeon of misery and eyesore. He sees me see him and now we staring at each other across the bar and now I prefer those raggedy looks from the denim brothers.
“Keep it together missy. You got this.” Quipped my ever present, optimistic chi. So I slide down my tower of solitude and make my way over to the man. Lemmi call him, “Tango Whiskey”, with no reference to the movie whatsoever.
”It’s only Wednesday. And you look worse than a truck accident casualty.”He just sits there and downs his drink. Swirl, gulp then wince. Swirl, gulp then wince. Over and over till I find myself wincing when it’s time to do so. We slowly fall in a pattern. “Isn’t it past your bedtime little girl?” he finally acknowledges me. Not exactly what I was expecting but we can work with that.“Actually, my nights are for overthinking and my mornings are for oversleeping. My natural clock is beat to shape mister…”
He isn’t much of a chitty chat guy. Just him, his drink and thoughts. And his thoughts are what am after. I am a dog with a bone now and only a bullet would shut me up.He was aloof and I was relentless. Pelting the poor man with my post-adolescent stress disorder and inquisitive nature. And they said asking questions and telling stories wouldn’t feed me! Smh!!
The bartender kept wiping his glasses even though it was only me and whiskey tango up his forte. Trade secret I assumed, cuz’ it got me all kinds of crazy and anxious. He was listening in, of course. Just like the nightingale and bats and the big ol’moon outside. Whiskey isn’t giving much information, none actually, so I offer to give my end of the story. The reason why am here.
“My boyfriend of forever years is sleeping with my best-friend, can you believe that? And when I caught the bastards pants down and abject horror in their faces, they dared say, ‘It’s not what it looks like! Let me explain…’ but am not five. I may have the face and innocence but I also ain’t blind and clearly what am looking at is explanation enough!
As if that wasn’t enough, my contract was cancelled today. I wasn’t savvy no more to continue working for the darn paper I was writing for. They needed “beleibers” and funky fresh and all I could come up with was revolutions and conscious minds, amongst the marginalized youths in our current society of ‘wala nyama’. In short, I wasn’t young enough for their taste so got booted. With a bouquet of yellow roses and a box of chocolates. Final blow was to find my room back in school broken into and all my devices stolen…so am resulting to good ol’ pen and paper till HELB happens again. Cheers, ey?” “Smh!”That was all I got from this gentleman. A sneer and eye roll. I didn’t even know that men can do that.
Whiskey had just lost his job. Actually, he was facing a law suit that would completely ruin all he had built. His company had tried a hand at inside trading and he was getting so good at it that he got callous and clumsy and now was about to find out if he looks good in black and white stripes. He was rushing home to his wife, to tell her to grab the kids and bounce, when he walked in and found his pastor in his bathrobe, and the missus in the kitchen with just a shirt on making the man a snack. The house reeked of sex, sin and betrayal and before he knew it, the pastor was on the floor fighting for his life amidst Tango’s fists of thunder.
He told this man everything. Just last Sunday he had gone for absolution ‘cuz of the inside trading issue as well as some man-talk, since he suspected his wife to be having an affair with his neighbor. His argument? His boy looked nothing like him. Broad nose, too light-skinned, flimsy, brown hair…now he had to wonder whether his daughter was actually his too! So the traitor was actually in a collar and quoting scriptures to him at the same time quoting poems to his woman?!
He had lost everything now. He had no home to go to, no family, no job security…he was facing the barrel of a gun with the EACC and several other involved parties.
At least he had the few thousands he was quickly drowning at the bar. His dreams? They looked empty and blurry like the bottom of his glass every time he downed his poison. I wanted to tell him that some good does actually come from a deep downward spiral, ‘cuz when you hit rock bottom, the only other way was up.
But my good man was already looking up the skirt of some drunk female at the opposite table.So much for his redemption and absolution, ey?