I only really go to one bar, only with the man I refer to as "my gay" but who is really my best bud. We were there Thursday night into Friday morning, yuking it up and being young and irresponsible. An ever-present force at this bar is the tender, a friend of my gay, who always just goes a little bit out of his way to help us out.
A few months ago we were discussing walking for 1$ slices of pizza at the bar; he slapped down a 5-spot, told us to bring back 2 slices for him and enjoy the rest.
He was that kind of guy.
My gay became incredibly close with him (resembling a lost puppy when he's wasted just begs the giving to help him out.) I can't tell you how many times he would loose his jacket and the tender would simply smirk and inform us it was in it's perpetual place, tucked safely under the bar.
He always went that extra mile to care for my gay, was always kind to me, and the world feels a little colder today because I learned he fell off a bridge and died a little less than 20 hours ago.
The last time I saw him was so recent that I can close my eyes and see him, smirking and pouring drinks like the smooth mo-fo he was, and I think of what I'd give to be able to see it again. I know it can't hurt me a fraction of what it's doing to my gay, but I can be strong for him. I'm good in crisis: I play the Mom.
When we left just prior to closing time Friday morning I waited at the end of the bar for a formal good-bye. He had given us righteous cheese fries (with an additional helping of cheese) and some witty banter, leaving me happily obligated to bid him good-night. He spotted me, cracked a more honest grin than usual, and when I came in for a fist bump he opened his arms. "C'mere," and he welcomed me into our first hug.
It was also our last.
My gay called me in tears; he couldn't believe it, it couldn't be real. I was a cool customer, there for him.
I washed dishes with tears in my eyes, a slightly gouged feeling in my heart. I keep coming back to his girlfriend, her son; my gay.
Sometimes shit is just terribly sad.