“What’s the point of going on now? Nothing left at home or work.” A man asked while sitting in the Golden Spaniard, an antique style bar that stunk of stale smoke and alcohol. A guy at the other end of the bar started to answer the young man, “Buh-me-te-.” The guy rolled back off of his stool as the bartender took his drink away and ordered him out. The slovenly man started arguing and passed out on the door step. The bartender went to him and rolled him out the door with a forceful kick and a grunt.
The asker at the bar sat staring at his glass of scotch and coke as the bartender went back behind the bar. “What’s up mate?” The bartender asked as he topped off his drink, “You look like you could use another drink.”
“Thanks” Jack said, slamming back the drink. “I’m sick off all the soothsayers, apologisers, and mostly all the pity. If I wanted to make a coffee they should let me. Or if I wanted to get a loaf of bread they should let me.”
“So what’s caused all this then? People waiting on you hand and foot isn't a good thing?” Inquired the bartender as he was going to pour another bloke’s drink.
“My brother. He’s gone. He’s gone far, far, so very far away and he isn’t coming back. I miss him so much, my sister misses him. Hell, everyone misses him. He left us and he knew he wouldn’t come back. What I don’t get, and don’t think I ever will, is why?”
The sorrowful guy at the bar sat there admiring the wood panelling on the edge of the bar in his sombre state. He started opening up a bit more after listening to the bartender for a bit.
“I always felt more distant from my sister than I was from my brother. This is really odd as me and my sister are actually twins. I never figured it out, my brother and I always had our fraternal bond that always seemed stronger the bond me and my sister share as twins. I still remember this one time when we were kids.” The guy started to weep slightly. “All three of us were walking through the bush. We had just climbed a short barbed wire fence and I ended up cutting my knee while climbing it. My sister kept telling me to move on, that I’ll be fine. Thankfully my brother insisted on turning back and getting looked at and looked after. Turns out it woulda get infected if I didn’t get bandages and antiseptics on in time.”
“He sounds like a good fella. So where’d he go?” The bartender asked as he poured another scotch and coke.
“Grab yourself one mate, my shout.” The guy at the bar replied.
The bartender had been listening to the guy for near on two hours and was really eager to know what had happened. Although he felt bad about wanting to know something that could possibly be the worst thing to this guy, the bartender comforted himself by saying that this guy had presented it as such that all would want to know.
Jack started talking again, this time with a more inebriated slur, “He’s dead. He died, off to the big place in the sky, the shining realms of Jesus, the great halls of Val-” “Ok mate, I got it.” The bartender said, as he made a motion of pulling a handgun to his head. This set the brother right off.
“What no apology? How bloody rude! I’m sitting here having grieving for my lost brother and you don’t even care! Jack hollered in anguish. “Excuse me for going against your wishes your honour” The bartender retorted sarcastically, “But didn’t you just say that you’re sick of all the people who apologise.”
“I am. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t, or is courtesy dead in the part of the world?”
“Let me ask you this Mr. Holier-Than-Thou bartender. Have you ever lost your brother? Have you ever had your brother die? Have you ever had your brother ‘off’ himself? I didn’t think so.” The brother finished up as the bartender stood there blankly. He snapped back into it, “Sorry mate. I didn’t mean to offend you.”
“Well you did! One more question, to seal the deal so to speak. Have you ever fucking stood there and stared into the lifeless, staring eyes of one of the people you love most in this world, and feeling so lost and helpless in that one instant that you don’t think anything would ever go right again, like there was a bottomless pit and your life happened to be going down into it?” The brother was sitting there staring at the bartender. His words had raised so much fervour that the bar had fell silent and a chill ran down the bartender’s back.
“Ah man… I don’t know what to say.” The bartender responded with a look of downright pity on his face. The bartender stood there staring at the sobbing man, as did the rest of the bar.
“I’ve seen that face before. I don’t want or need your sympathy and pity. Just wipe it, shut it, and pour me another goddamn drink!”
And with that, the mourning brother lay his head in his arms to make the earthly world disappear and his own transcendental world appear, to glance at what little hope he had for the future.