Welcome to my worst nightmare: I’m at a bar far from home, my phone only has 3% charge left, and now I have to ask a favor from this intimidating bartender.
Fuck, this dude knows what’s up. He’s playing Nick Cave while projecting ‘Hausu’. This isn’t a run-of-the-mill dive bar, with a baseball game on TV. This bartender is completely covered in original ink work from esteemed tattoo artists with fees higher than my rent. Damn.
His facial piercings communicate “this was expensive,” with a hint of “fuck you.” He has thick, immaculate facial hair. Black denim, tucked into Doc Martens, with black suspenders over a Death Grips tee. He hasn’t said a word to any customer, except the regular in the corner, and even then it seems like they’re talking shit about everyone else.
“Hey, sorry to ask, I bet you guys get this all the time-” and I’ve already said too much. His eyebrows raise. He could’ve watched 4 TikToks and gotten another tattoo in the time it took for me to blab this question out. “…I know this is super super annoying, sorry in advance, but do you happen to have a charger?” He offers his hand, saying nothing. I guess I’m supposed to give him my phone now? A meek “thank you” escapes my mouth. I look around, realizing how awkward it is without anything in my hands. I pick up a decorative old cloth-bound book from the faux library/fireplace, but the bartender shouts at me to put it back.
I go to the bathroom for any blissful variety and suddenly remember that my phone has had difficulty charging lately. I’ve had to press hard on the charge port or jiggle it around while inside. When I come out of the bathroom, I ask, “Hey, so sorry to be annoying, but my phone doesn’t always charge. It’s old and kinda weird. Could you check and make sure it’s actually charging?” The bartender stares at me with a deep annoyance, too uncaring to be called hatred. He walks to the register, checks my phone and mumbles, “It’s charging, OK?” Fantastic.
The bar starts to get busy so I close out. Now he’s playing Lydia Lunch while projecting ‘Wild at Heart’. Fuck. He’s so cool. It’s about a block away that I realize I’ve left my phone behind, knowing I can never go back for it.