Empty Bar stools


Life got choppy, like waves that a surfer would rather not ride. To help maintain my balance, I fell silent for a while so that I could concentrate. In my quiet observations I noticed that I had gotten a drinking routine down where I’d

  1. Show up to the bar a half hour before one girl’s shift ended.
  2. Close tab, saying it’s to tip Girl #1 and begin second tab with new girl
  3. Hit up local tavern on the way home for finale. Clean slate.

This did not bode well with my internal organs. When I woke up on workdays, honestly feeling like the perfect jump-start would be to have a bottle of beer, my better half stepped in and tallied up all I knew to be true. I was using beer too often.

How I will miss seeing through my vampire eyes.

When I first moved to this village, a girl at the bar sat next to me and spilled her life in a drunken fashion, going on about her ex and the previous ownership of the place. She had a bright red turtleneck sweater on with tight, black leather pants. Definitely a size zero. Short, curly hair. She kept interrupting herself so she could step outside for a cigarette.

She had a thing for houseplants. I know, right? Fucking houseplants? She’d show up to garage sales the moment they opened to see if any were for sale. Weird. But I secretly loved it, and loved her.

After she gave me her number she said, “Call me. I mean it.”


“No, don’t just fucking say you will. Really. Call me. You are like, super nice. I don’t find that too often.”

Never called. Looked at her name in my phone for weeks. Her boyfriend trapped people’s attic animals for a living, or sold pesticides or something. They were on their way to a billiards club. Everything about them screamed P-A-R-T-Y.

I don’t do well, with Party Girls, in the long run. They end up wanting something, selfishly, and they get desperate and manipulative. I see through it and love turns to hate. Heartbreak. Mandi.

Last week I told this story to my bartender. The deleted Amber In America. My party ghost. Houseplant Huntress. She turned to the cook, also female, and asked, “Do we know an Amber?”

“Amber, with the Bug Man?”

My eyes lit up. They were probably turning red.

“She left the Bug Man and she’s with some new guy. Yeah, she comes up here on occasion. She used to work here before we bought this place back. Bad crowd, that was here for a while. One of the owners gave her a pill that had her laid out in the middle of the Street one night.”

Empty bar stools. The end? Just doesn’t seem right.

My vampire eyes made a wish that I cannot forget.


3 responses to “Empty Bar stools

  1. Cheers.

    I think every now and then everyone needs to fall into something that isn’t very good for them, so that when they crawl back out life seems better.

    I miss bars, pool halls and meeting random people.

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