Thursday, January 19, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Hate Late Afternoon

His decision to kill time in the bar was a bad one.  The music that was piped in was The Triangle of Death, also known as Phil Collins/Billy Joel/Elton John.  His least favorite of the three was Phil Collins as the songs always conjured up memories of painful experiences from decades earlier.  Plus, what the hell did “sussudio” mean anyway?  As if on cue a Phil Collins song replaced Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” which the bar back had been absentmindedly whistling.  Whereas “Uptown Girl” was terrible as a stand-alone experience, the whistling only made it worse.  Phil Collin’s Caucasian version of “You Can’t Hurry Love” settled over the hotel lounge like an antiseptic wash.

He considered ordering an obscenely expensive scotch.  The bar had a glistening bottle of MaCallan 25 on offer at a mere $265 per serving.  As by all appearances he looked like a guest at the hotel, the thought crossed his mind to order a double and enjoy it slowly with the master plan of ducking out the side door when it appeared he was heading to the men’s room.  However he quickly surmised that the tension of his upcoming perfect crime would ruin the scotch and he wouldn’t enjoy it.  Risk did not equal reward.  He ordered a draft beer.  It was flat.

He alternated between looking at his phone and the ubiquitous ESPN feed that may have been mandated to be televised in all hotel lounges.  He scrolled on his phone looking for good news or human contact.  He had neither.  The ESPN program was on mute.  He attempted to read the chopped dialogue provided by the mute function.  It seemed to be a variation of the LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan argument that was the go-to of the channel when things got quiet in the NFL.  The men on TV seemed very excited about their side of the argument.  He glanced over at the corner of the bar at the only other patron.

The man sitting in the corner was dressed in a rumpled suit jacket with an open collared shirt.  The open collared shirt seemed desperate on the man, as if he was trying to say “Hey!  I’m fun!  Look!  I don’t have my tie!”.  He scrolled on his phone and occasionally reached up towards his neck as if to confirm he wasn’t wearing the tie.  He had the doomed vibration coming off him that only another salesperson would recognize.  He drained his beer, a tall.  With only a nod he gave the weary looking barmaid permission to pour him another.  Suddenly he looked down at his phone.  His eyebrows furrowed.  He touched the screen and brought it to his ear as his face changed into a happy mask.  “Hey!!!  Bill!!!  We were just talking about you!  You coming with us to the game?  Club seats!”  The man cupped the phone to his ear while rising and walked away from the bar towards the lobby.  He was working now.

The Phil Collins song ended.  Another song started up.  It was the same song, but different.  What the hell was this guy’s name?  Mark Cohn?  He thought it might be a Don Henley song, also terrible.  It was all the same.  The waitress looked at him with a raised eyebrow to ask if he wanted another.  After telling her “just one more, but I gotta take a piss”, he walked towards the men’s room.  He never looked back as he cut out the side door walking out on the check.  It was the best he felt all day.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home