prose, short story, writing

Fix me (a drink).

I walked into the pub, it was still early in the afternoon. There wasn’t many people, everything was quiet. Or maybe I didn’t pay attention. I grabbed a chair and sat down at the bar while the old man briskly made his way towards me.
‘Hiyah, whacha havin’?’
One sentence and his accent was already getting on my nerves.
‘Scotch. Neat.’
He kept staring as if he was unsure whether or not he sould say something else, and after a short while he simply went to fix me the damn drink.
‘Keep’em coming.’
I downed my glasses one after the other, and it suddenly dawned on me that I got through those drinks as quickly as I got through with those last days. She certainly was still on my mind, but I was in a different place now. And so was she, obviously. It’s weird to realize how much time has passed since we last spoke. Actually, it’s weird to realize how much time has passed, period. I can remember that day when, my father and I were just sitting there in the sun and talking about how days, weeks, months and years; about how all that makes such a difference. And now he’s gone; he disappeared. Just like that. We’re no better than this twelve year old whisky, we go down as easily.
‘Wee bit ova rough day huh?’ he was back at it, and the more I drank the less I felt like talking.
‘Just about the usual.’
‘Can see it’s one of those. You’s got this look. All you’s to do is to wait for luck to come round.’
‘Luck is for losers.’ I downed another one; he fixed me another one.
I could sense that he was one of those person who just clinch to you. In any situation, all they want to do is talk. God knows I have never been a great talker, it’s probably why I don’t like to hear people. Too many words, all the time. As if my own thoughts weren’t enough, I’m forced to hear theirs on a regular basis. I once knew a guy like that. It always amazed me to see how unsure of himself he was. So he talked to people, all the time. Just to forget, or to make sure he wasn’t doing anything wrong. That is fucked up, isn’t it ? Do you really need someone else approval to be yourself ? But hey, I’m not one to judge. And since that old fart wasn’t going to let me drink in peace, I thought I might as well make it more interesting.
‘Say, you think we are who we are, or we can change?’
‘Change ? Like wha’? Sex?’ he answered, looking a bit off.
‘Nevermind.’
‘Spit it. If my ex wife’s taught me anything’s that you can’t leave any thought unsaid.’
‘That’s a pretty astute comment’, especially coming from a dumb guy. ‘Do you think we can change as in, our behaviour, the decisions we make, and all that shit ?’
‘Tis funny, you don’t look like a thinker. ‘ll tell you what, no. That is the answer, right there.’
‘No.’ I wanted it to sound as if I was asking a question, but oddly, it came out as a statement.
‘No. We are who we are. We don’t change. We keep on fucking up, getting in the wrong directions, and telling the wrong people off. And then we go into nice pubs like this one, and down our drinks to forget about it. And then we do everything all over ‘gain. That’s the way ’tis.’
I downed another one. It was bittersweet. For a moment there I wanted to grab him by the collar and erase that smart ass smile off of his face. I hate bartenders. I hate this idea that we can’t change. I think I’ve changed; I want to. I want to think I’ve changed; I want to change. How couldn’t we not ? We go through life defining experiences all the time, isn’t that enough to make us better ? But what if they made us worse ? That’s change, however the direction. Don’t tell me there’s no changing.
‘That’s bullshit.’ I like to be short and to the point.
‘Then why you’s here then?’
Hate to say it, but the guy’s got a point. Why did I come in here in the first place ? Drink myself into oblivion, just to forget ? So much for change. I wish my father was still here. He wouldn’t say anything helpful, but at least we would drink together. He was pretty good with the bottle himself. Perhaps it’s a family thing. Perhaps I can’t change, because I’m already destined to be something. Perhaps I’m just on my way to becoming it. And perhaps I might fuck it up if I try to change. No, that’s bullshit.
‘Thirst.’
‘Wha’ ’bout water smart ass?’
‘Do I look like a fish?’
‘Now ‘ll tell you wha’ that would be some change here !’
That bastard was enjoying himself. Again I thought about kicking his fat ass all over the place. So much for change. This is too much for me; I live in a different country, my age is different, even my face looks uglier. But deep down I feel like  I’m  still the same jerk I’ve always been. That’s bullshit.
I got up, dropped a note and left without waiting for the change. However small his brain, he got a good hear, he desearved the tip. I stepped out of the pub and the sunny afternoon hit me in the face just like I had hit the bottle. I looked left where the brunette with the round butt was going, then right towards the city. That’s bullshit. I’m not that person anymore. I’m going to be everything I want to be, and then some. I spat on the ground, and went on straight ahead.

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