The Bartender
by Teri Saya


He looks approachable pouring drinks behind the crowded bar.

He has that wise aura, that knowing nod.

It makes you want to pour your heart out while he fills your glass.

He has the uncanny ability to know what drink you want before you ask for it.

He seems to listen intently, making everyone there feel respected and cared for.

The sad, heartbroken souls that belly up to the bar, walk out feeling better...because the bartender understood their plight.

At the end of the evening, he cleans the glasses and wipes down the bar.

He pours a drink for himself and downs it while counting out his tips.

He puts on his jacket and hat, turns off the lights and steps outside, locking the door behind him.

Standing under the eaves watching the rain come down, he slowly reaches up and pulls the plugs from his ears.

Putting both hands in his pockets he steps off the porch and, hunching against the rain, trudges toward home.

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