at the aquarium of the drunks

for about 10 years
I worked as a bartender
it had it’s moments
but there something about it
that was more profound.

being behind the bar
just a couple feet away
from life
from death
from sex
from despair
was strange.
it was almost like how
I felt about everything.
there was a barrier
between me and
the world.
between me
and humanity.
it was like I was a visitor
at a large aquarium
looking through the glass
at all the different kinds
of life.
I would walk up and down
the rubber mats on the floor.
that made it feel more real
since before bartending
I worked at a pet shop
and in the fish department
we had the same rubber mats.

every night
the horny and the lonely
all completely sad
doing the same thing
in different skins
different outfits
different makeup
different jewelry
all come in the same
act the same
leave the same.

in the early shifts
I was the therapist
having to listen to problems
that I didn’t fucking care about.
at night
I was the pimp
hooking people up
with liquid courage
introducing guys
to chicks
who showed up with
no money
but a tight skirt

at the end of the day
everyone who came through
those doors
wanted one thing:
they were all lonely
all dying inside
all wanting a good time
but afraid to face it alone.

I think those years
did a number on me.
I don’t think I’m the same guy
that I was before I slung beer
for better or for worse.

just drink at home.

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  1. I don’t remember seeing you there, but I was a fish in one of those aquariums. It was a nice place, if you could ignore what was happening outside the glass.

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