It's a bar like any other. You drink in enough of them, you realise they're all the same - places where people come to be numb, to cope, to find release from the chains of self... Hey, that's not too bad. Be a good title if I get around to writing songs again.
No, screw that. I'm going to stay drunk, it's more rewarding with less effort.
I finish my drink, the latest in a long lone, and it burns my throat like it was the first for the night. Or the morning. Drinking helps me pass the time.
"Hey, I wan' another, but som'thin' stronner," I call to the bartender. He just nods and sweeps away my empty glass. In theory he should have stopped serving me a while ago. It's a nice theory, I don't hold with it.
In the mirror behind the bar I can see myself. Why do they put mirrors behind bars anyway? Is it so you can see how sad and lost you look? So you'll want another drink in the hope that it'll take the haunted look from your eye?
I like the mirrors, like the look in my eye, though the me in the mirror looks like shit. My hair's a mess, my t-shirt is dirty, I look like a typical bar lush. Buy her enough booze and she'll be yours for the night - nothing is too depraved if I'm given enough to drink. It's another way to pass the time and dull the senses.
The bartender puts down a dark green concoction in front of me. As I pick it up I look at the other me in the mirror, holding the drink. That's when I see Peter walk in through the door. My eyes flick to the clock. Ten past nine, right on time. Ha, I could put that in a song an' all. I pretend not to notice him, even when he comes and sits next to me. I just keep staring at my doppelganger in the mirror, holding her drink like a precious gift.
Peter leans forward and says quietly, "Don't you think you've had enough?"
I say nothing. I down the drink in one go, keeping my eyes on his reflection, ignoring the obvious pain in his face. He hurt me, I don't care if he suffers. I call for another.
"I'm sorry," he says. "I shouldn't have left you. It was a mistake."
I smile, glaring at his reflection, refusing to look directly at him. "Yeah, you bastard, well it's too late now."
The next drink is here... Did I pay for the last one? I shrug, it doesn't matter, they won't let me leave without paying. Peter's looking at the drink in my hand.
"This has to stop. You don't have to do this to yourself, Lee."
I lose it, turn and shout, "And what would you know?!"
He's gone. Gone for another night. I look in the mirror hoping to see him but he's not there. Bastard. The funeral was six months ago. Died in a car wreck at ten past nine, he'd been drinking and wrapped the car around a tree.
I begged him not to go out.
I thought I'd lost him forever, but then I discovered when I drink too much he comes back, tries to make me stop. I don't know what the booze is doing to me, I've only been a drinker for six months, but it lets me see him again, that's all I care about. I don't care it it hurts, don't care if it's only out of pity, I get to see him again.
But he's right. It has to stop.
Think I might go for a drive tonight...