Miguel’s party was a Wednesday night. I returned to The Bar the following Saturday, my usual routine, and was surprised to see him there. He was seated in the corner farthest from the door with Danny and few other regulars I knew. I decided to keep my distance, choosing an empty spot on the opposite side of the bar. Danny watched me as I sat down with a questioning look on his face. I ignored him focusing my attention on the bartender, Karen, slowly making her way toward me. I ordered my drink and when Karen returned with it, she said “It’s on the new guy over there with Danny.”
I put my money on the bar and responded, “Tell him I can buy my own drinks.” I turned to face the rest of the room. Seconds later Danny was standing in my face.
“Hey what’s your problem”
“Nothing. Just not in a social mood.”
“You come to the bar to not be social.” I gave him a blank look and didn’t respond. “Fine, be that way.” He shook his head and walked away.
“What’d they do?” Karen asked as she leaned on the bar in front of me.
“Nothing.” She looked at me waiting for more. I smiled and said, “No fun in being nice all the time. What’s the new guy’s deal anyway?”
She shrugged, then looked over her shoulder. “All I know is what I see, one fine-ass man. Good tipper too.” The bar filled up and I enjoyed the rest of my night with other friends.
Miguel continued showing up at the bar. He often came alone but never stayed that way for long. He had a generous round buying habit and groups formed around him in anticipation. Ralph and Andy hung around him for free drinks, along with Jeanette who also threw herself at him desperately. Danny just kept going on about how he’d “make bank” working for him, yet had no idea what it even was he did. It annoyed me how quickly became a fixture among the regulars. Suddenly he seemed to be friends with just about everybody I knew. It got to the point no matter where I went he’d show up invited by somebody or another.