Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Regulars (part one of an ocassional series)

My body seems to purging itself of a viscous green liquid which looks more like Predator blood than anything a human produces. My nurse has fled my, admittedly somewhat shoddy care, as soon as my man-ingitis finished with me started with her. So I’m entrenched at a pub with a bad case of the slightlys; I’m slightly fluey, slightly headachy, slightly drunk and even though she has only been gone a couple of hours, slightly missing my girlfriend. Shut up, I’m ill.

I love an empty pub, its not that I don’t like people, I just enjoy relaxing in a public place with a degree of privacy, it could be the perverse pleasure of being alone somewhere that by its nature should be busy, imagining yesterdays ghosts and absorbing the residue of good times ingraining in the woodwork. The main problem with preferring empty pubs is when you find a really nice and empty one, it will inevitably close because pubs and bars need people and lots of them.

I am a nomadic drinker; I have no want for drifting familiarity or the comfort of the “Regular” status. I have worked in the pub trade for a decade and Regular in bar circles is normally another name for dipso or socially sub-normal. Let me tell you about one my most memorable regulars, Chris.

Chris looks like a smaller version of Blues manager Steve Bruce but with whiter hair and a more disfigured nose. Apparently Chris had mental issues before he caught the number 62 bus in his face. Twice. Tellingly each time making it down to the pub only to have the bar staff call him an ambulance. Some put it down to his Dad being part of the crew on one the ships closest to the first atomic bomb testing permanently screwing his DNA. Or it could be his faith and calling to seminary school that got slapped out of him by his atheist Dad, I suppose after watching a blast that could crack heaven in half with only a pair of darkened glasses to protect you, it becomes hard to believe in a benevolent god.

On his more coherent days he would regale you with stories of football violence and car chases, including the time he went to court for killing a Police Dog with his bare hands but got off with a self defense plea. But most of the time Chris could only communicate in highly repetitive and ritualized call and responses increasing in volume and almost Tourette’s like in timing.
“What am I like on the horse’s?” he would ejaculate while you would be engaged in conversation elsewhere (He’s an avid gambler whose fistful of bets would never exceed five pounds, in total).
“Shit hot Chris” would be the expected response, although this was not actually true, my friend made the mistake of thinking Chris some sort of idiot savant and gave him money to bet on his behalf. He lost. Of course after the ninth or tenth time of answering the affirmative becomes increasingly flippant.
“You’re a wizard, a sorcerer of the odds, Chris
“You’re like Rain Man Chris”
“You’re amazing, like fireworks”

In his cups he would talk of “the lady in white” an, and I’m only in the realms of hypothesis and presumption now, amalgamation of Lady Luck and the Virgin Mary, who he visited every morning on his epic morning walks.
“She’s beautiful” he’d whisper as he put his hands together in prayer and eyes rolled into the back of his head.

Now playing: Silverchair - Straight Lines
via FoxyTunes


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