The Last Drink
“I’ll take a double spiced rum on the rocks please,” I ask the bartender sitting down to a stool at the large wooden bar. The place cast a vibe of abandonment, not a soul around except the lone bartender and he looks to be just as bewildered as I am.
“I’ll join ya buddy,” he replies, with an expressionless smile and slinging his checkered dish towel over his shoulder.
Spinning around in my stool I take in the emptiness of the bar and curiously I ask him. “Why aren’t you at home with your family?”
“My family’s all in Peru, I have no money to afford a plane ticket,” he says.
“I am sorry to hear that friend,” I tell him, spinning back around slowly to face him. My attention turned to the bar, as I run my hands across its smooth surface.
“Oak,” I whisper to myself.
“Yes sir, It is. I built it with my own two hands,” he answers.
I casually drift my vision behind him and into the reflection of the two of us in the mirror and seemingly surrounded in shiny liquor bottles. It all seems so surreal. I feel absorbed in this simple yet, stark reflection of us, the fact that all this would soon be absolute nothingness. The bartender broke me out of my existential gaze, by handing me my drink.
“It’s a shame it has to be like this eh… Who would’ve honestly thought?” He says, taking a sip and noticing my state of instability.
“I really didn’t believe it at first,” I proclaim, now fixated on the golden glow of my drink. “But…once I saw the moon was in two halves last night, I knew that it was all over,” I pause, draping my head in utter hopelessness and swaying it from side to side.
“Do you mind if I have smoke?” I whisper, reaching for my smokes anyway and not really giving a damn what his answer was.
“Not at all.”
I remove a pack of Du Maurier cigarettes from the breast pocket of my olive green, military style jacket and flop them onto the bar.
“Ya know,” I say, now feverishly digging in my jeans pocket, for a lighter and then quickly finding it. “I thought it would be the cigarettes that would eventually take me down. Not the actual end of the world.”
Abruptly, the deafening loud screams of people could be heard, scurrying just past the bar entrance.
Half-heartedly I turn my head around, placing the yellow-filtered cigarette gently against my lips. Dark blurred shadows of people could be seen swiftly darting past the frosted glass door.
“Do you mind, if I enjoy one with you?” The bartender asks.
“Help yourself, my good man.” I insist, sliding the pack towards him.
I light his first, then light mine.
The crackling sound of the burning tobacco feels somewhat soothing to my ears. I inhale the smoke deep into my lungs and quickly exhale a large bluish cloud into the air. I calmly set the cigarette in the ashtray and gaze at the bartender dead in the eyes.
“I like you Lloyd,” I exclaim with a grin. “I’ve always liked ya… You were always the best of them… The best goddamn bartender from Timbuktu to Portland Maine, or Portland Oregon for that matter… I am sorry, I just had always wanted to say that to a bartender for some reason.”
“Thank you sir… It was a very good impression of The Shining.”
“Well… On that note… At least the asteroid hitting the moon gave us a few extra days.” I announce, taking the last gulp of my drink and then abruptly smashing it down on the bar. “Imagine If…”
more by ROACH ADAMS
read Roach Adams’ blog Animals Of Progress
photograph by Kevin Sequeira