Of Bars, Booze, and Bartending - Proving "Coughlin's Law" Invalid Since Feb '05

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Old Friends, and Change.

Last Friday night, my first night back after a short, nature-filled, wonderful escape from the world. It's so hard to come back.

A deep, booming voice snapped me back into reality. Polishing glasses at the very end of the night, I overheard a customer giving his compliments to our gracious, professional host. I would have recognized that voice anywhere.

"Schmitty!!" I yelped, breaking the air of formality. The hangers-on in the dining room look toward the bar as I run toward him. My old bartending partner, back in the nightclub days.

There's a special bond formed in the nightclub world. Pounding music, drunken, underage girls and warlike bartending bring a staff together. You never forget the people you worked with, on the front lines of partying, back when you were incredibly young and still had loads of energy.

We exchanged hugs and breathless recaps. He's left the business for a life in the insurance world, he got a live-in girlfriend, adopted a dog. He'll be fine. Guys as talented with the public as Schmitty will always come out ahead. Oh, it's so great to see your old coworkers, especially the ones you really, really liked and enjoyed, and it makes it all the sweeter when you know they're looking well and doing quite nicely.

I find myself just a bit jealous, salivating over the fantasy of benefits and paid vacation. The things you give up for a glamorous career in bartending.

Luckily, those are the only things I can think of that I've sacrificed for this ever-changing career I've chosen.

And oh as I fade away
They'll all look at me and say, and they'll say
Hey look at him
I'll never live that way
But that's okay
They're just afraid to change.

- Blind Melon, "Change"