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Monday, February 16, 2009

The Bar

Rachel Williams

The Bar

I’m standing behind the bar biting what’s left of my left thumbnail & cuticle. This biting angle hurts my hand, so I stop to massage the amphibian-like section in between my thumb and pointer finger. My boss says that calms your brain down. That’s one method of hers. She blew weed smoke into my ears last week, and that worked too.

A customer approaches the bar with an overcompensating swagger and smiles at me. I imagine he drives a yellow Mustang or something with a stick shift. I think about red velvet cake so that I’m not completely frowning. The last time I felt content was four months ago. I start biting my thumb nail again. My fingertip is throbbing fast.

“Hey there! What are you mixing the vodka with tonight, cutie?”

The balls of my feet are starting to hurt big time and I’ll probably get a calf spasm while I sleep tonight because of these heels. My dad once got a calf spasm while leaving a voicemail for a client.

“Either pomegranate, clementine, peach or blackberry sparkling juice.”

He has uneven muscle tone. His biceps are lumpy.

“Well, which flavor do you like the best?”

All guys with goatees ask this question. I already have an opened bottle of peach juice in hand.

"Peach has always been my absolute favorite, to be honest.”

“Honesty. I like that. Well if you like peach, then I’ll get peach.”

I jam a fresh glass into the ice bin, pour in a few drops of vodka, and then swirl the cup as I add the juice. The bubbles almost spill over the brim, but they don’t.

“Is that your signature move? The swirl?”

“That’s right. It makes the drink taste better.”

"Did you do that just for me?"

I pull my dress down a little and scan the room. I wouldn’t fuck anyone in here. The goatee is grinning at me and I hate myself for feeling obligated to answer.

“Yeah, just for you.”

I look down at my hands and see that my ruptured cuticles are bleeding. Blood is speckled on the glass. If I just smile at him, he won't notice.

An octave higher I say, "Here you go, sir!"

"Thanks, gorgeous."

He tips generously, grins confidently, and is gone.


  1. great story! and hilarious to boot

  2. red velvet cake mmm

  3. ummm you're kind of amazing and i'm glad i'm not your cuticles

  4. I love the opening paragraph.