Monday, July 30, 2012

WHEN ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! (Featuring Guest Blogger, D., The Bartender's Bartender)

             It had to happen. Getting around to talking about TOO much drinking. I try to avoid condemning any kind of excess. In a godless world as we live, hedonism seems the finest choice, the pursuit of pleasure at all costs. Secretly, we all are hedonists, opting for the pleasurable moments and avoiding the other ones, in pure Epicurean fashion.
            I like to think I’m an exceptional drunk.
            Some might disagree.
            The only time I’ve been cut off from the bars was when I clothes-lined this guy off his bar stool at The Abbey Bar. And I worked at the bar. I wasn’t on shift. I was merely a civilian that day.
            The man in question was a known shit talker and I suppose I was done with it.
            He muttered something. I pegged the back of his stool with my foot and slammed an arm across his chest, sending him reeling backward and onto the Abbey Bar’s dirty floor. I leapt up and got above him, and that’s when my boss came around to stop me.   
            “Matthew, what the hell are you doing?”  
            “Fuck this guy, man, I’m tired of his shit.”
            My boss pulled me aside. Behind him the man in question goaded me on. My boss took me outside.
            “What’s your problem?”
            “I’m fine. I’m fine.”
            “The hell you are. You can’t attack customers.”
            “I need a drink.”
            He stood, hands on his waist, shaking his head: “You going to have to have one somewhere else.”
            I shrugged and moved on. I couldn’t really argue with him. If I was working, I would’ve kicked my own punk ass out.              
            This week however, we are graced yet again from a woman who no doubt has seen me in all kinds of drunk compromising situations: “D”, the Bartender’s Bartender.
            We had found ourselves discussing when ‘enough is enough’ with some of these drunken styles. You might have found yourself in some of these moments. And then been told to leave.
            Ladies and gentlemen, “D”, the Bartender’s Bartender:           

            You’re in a bar.
            You’re super charming.
            Everyone loves you.
            It’s the best night of your life.
            Or so you think. Because you’re wasted. And everyone around you is wasted. Except one person—the bartender.
            Even if I, your lovely bartender, have done a few (or eleven) shots of Jameson, I am still sober. Nothing keeps you sober like steering a ship full of drunks through a storm of alcohol. Your captain must remain alert and look for signs on the horizon that a storm may be brewing.   We bartenders have some tricks to see just how drunk you are, even as you pretend to be the picture of sobriety for the five minutes it takes to complete our bartender/drinker transaction. You want that booze and we hold the key. One wrong move and bam, cut off!
            But why?
            How’ d she know?
            Ever been cut off and didn’t know how the bartender could’ve possibly known the true extent of your bender?
            Here’s how:

            You Can’t Speak
            If you come up to the bar, I will say to you, "hey, how’s it going?" This is a cordial greeting, sure, but this is also a test. The correct response can vary, but it must include actual words.
            If you simply nod, I get suspicious. Then I pose a follow up question. "What can I get ya?"
            If you slur, I will assess the clarity of what you said and how wasted I think you may be. If you simply point at a can of beer, you are done.
            If you cannot verbalize what you want to drink, you simply cannot drink anymore. And you are cut off.
            Because if I serve you one more...

            You’re Sleeping On The Bar

            This should go without saying.
            If you are sleeping in a bar; slumped over on the stool, head on the bar, or actually standing and nodding off (yes, this one really happened just last week) then you have no business being inside the bar.
            The bar is not an ideal place for a nap.
            The only time a person sleeps in the bar is when they are passing out. The last thing I want is to be shaking awake some drunk dude and then helping them in a cab, find their phone, wallet, keys, etc.
            Ideally I’ve cut you off before we get to this point, but sometimes you come in from another bar where the bartender kicked you out, and now you’re my problem.
            Or sometimes I was the one getting you drunk, but you fall into the next category.

            The Sneak Attack Drunk

            Ah, this is the best kind of drunk.
            I’m pouring you drinks all night.
            You’re cool and funny, you tip well and can totally hold your liquor.
            You’re a bartender’s favorite customer, until that fateful game-changing drink which I pour and when I turn around and you are falling off your barstool or worse, puking.
            Out of nowhere, you are super wasted.
            The problem with this type of drunk is they are usually your best regular and it’s nearly impossible to know which drink will be the kicker.
            It’s Russian Roulette.
            And then we are dealing with a slurring, sleeping fall-down mess.

            So next time you are in the bar and secretly know just how wasted you actually are, be prepared.
            Say your order simply and clearly, or get a friend to order for you.
            Stay and awake and in closing, please enjoy this quote from Load- one of the best punk rock bands to ever come out of Miami, Fl of all places.
            "Fell off the barstool again. She was my only companion. She’s there laughing at me. Laughing at me as I fall."

            Incidentally, the last time I fell off a barstool was at the Subway Bar. When I texted my friend the next day out of embarrassment, she simply replied "welcome to the family".





Tuesday, July 24, 2012


            Note: As some of you know, when I was living in Paris earlier this year, I expected to write all of the time and report back my adventures wandering the streets of Paris. Unfortunately, the day after I arrived in Paris, my computer crashed, erasing all of my writing, the films I’ve directed, all of my music and every pictures I have ever taken. Quite a sad moment. However, as of this weekend, I finally repaired my computer. This was the first of many blogs I was writing to report back state side.
            I present to you, The Lost Paris Journal.

The Bartender Knows: Paris Edition

A Drunk American In Paris Pt. 1

            That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I am in one of the most beautiful cities in all of the world.
            I have no idea how to talk to anyone. It has taken me three days to properly order a cafĂ© sitting on the famous Parisian patios that are strewn across this fair city. Now when you take away a bartender’s talk, the bread and butter of our fair profession, you become a retarded mute, gesturing like a monkey at pastries in the window and pointing at items on the menu.
            I am frightened, which is funny for a man like me who generally can’t keep his mouth shut up.
            I am totally fearless State side. But out here, I slink around the French avenues like an underfed cat born off Grand Street, jumpy when approached, whispering purrs of god awful French to people. I know two words: Merci and S’il vous plait. Oh, and pardon, that is what you say when you bump into people wasted.  
            I went crazy the other night round 4am totally sober and decided to run out into the streets. It’s freezing cold and the rain was coming down like God spitting ice cubes on the streets. I take one wrong turn and I’m lost. My American compass is cracked right down the middle. The streets are dead empty, curved, not like the New York City grid system. An hour later I’m freaking out by some castle somewhere. It’s early morning and there’s police out arresting some poor criminal. There’s me, wandering up in a dark hood, asking “Ou se trouve le Seine?”  (Where is the river Seine?) and them looking at me like I was planning on diving into the dark churning waters. They directed me the right way, not that I understood anything they said. With luck, I found a landmark statue of Diderot I recognized off the Saint-Germain-des-Pres that led me back to my flat.
            I walk the streets alone during the day, muttering poorly pronounced French to myself, incurring strange looks from the locals. I sit, looking at cafes, wishing I could joke with the waitresses, charm them, make friends. Instead, I found a lovely little market where I bought enough Jamon and baguettes to fatten me up for week.
            And the cheese, it’s all about the cheese. I think if a man could OD on Morbier, it would happen right here in my borrowed flat off the Rue de Palissy.
            (In French)
            “Cause of death, Monsieur?” the police officer asks the doctor.
            “Fat bastard ate Morbier to death. Poor American. Looks like a bearded Pillsbury Dough Boy and smells of a vagrants armpit.”
            “Ah, pity.”
            “Oui, oui.”
            And let me say this folks. The French are fucking awesome. Super polite. They just hate Americans when they roll in speaking English right off. They want you to fuck up their language. There’s a point of pride in seeing you fail. But you tried. It makes them feel good. Like a rite of passage, blood in and blood out, gang shit.
            Except the only thing getting butchered is the way you speak French.        
            Here are some fun facts about drinking in Paris:
            Unless you are rich, my friends, you will not be buying whiskey at the local pubs and cafes. One small ounce shot will run you about 10 Euro, that’s $11.25 in dollars, and it will be their shitty version of well whiskey, some strange monstrosity called Major Henri. I had to try it. It tasted like turpentine, same color and hue and everything. This is no doubt why Americans go crazy out here. Henry Miller was probably so drunk off this paint thinner he decided to write the book to end all books (Tropic of Cancer) and thought he could get away with it. Whiskey makes even the meekest of men arrogant as all hell, and this gasoline that poses for whiskey is making me believe I can write the next Great American Novel in less than four weeks (already started it bitches, though can’t read a fucking lick of my penmanship, damn you Absinthe!).

            Oh my god. I am not a wine drinker. In fact, back in Brooklyn when I did go on wine binges all I got was shit from my degenerate friends about what I pussy I was. Well, you are what you eat, and there’s plenty of gash to drink around here. I found a place where you can buy a bottle of very decent red for 1.20 Euro, that’s like 2 bucks back in the States. Genius. I bought like 10 for the flat, been here three days already, and gone through four bottles. Morning, noon, night, wine, wine, wine, wine!
            I found a place called Le Chameleon where glasses of Cote du Rhone are 3 Euro, not bad for traveling about prices. The bartender is pretty cool. I don’t think bartenders here in Paris have the same prestige as we do in the States. They seem relatively busy and not that concerned about you. After all, unlike America, the actually get a wage and do not rely on tips for survival. I explained to the bartendress at Le Chameleon that I too, was a bartender, reading out of my translation book. She nodded and pointed to my empty glass: “Encore?” I nod.
            I suppose flashing my wine key around here would be superfluous. They would probably shrug, show me theirs, and be off. So fuck you Jake Tomsky, you were right. I would not get special privileges because I share the working class profession. All I get is the bored nod and an “Au revoir, Monsieur,” when I leave the place, red stained lips and all. I can’t blame them. How long has Paris been around?
            I am not the first poor writer wandering these streets, nor will I be the last.  

            My friends arrived Christmas Eve from Brooklyn; one of the Whiskey Twins, we’ll call her Catherine here for privacy sake, and my mustached mustard jar thieving buddy Michael, Catherine’s amore, met me last night for some celebratory drinks. We found ourselves at this place called Aux Trois Mailletz, a classic French Bistro, all with a very busty Algerian bartender, frantic waiters running back and forth, a skeletal female pianist rattling off French versions of Christmas music, and a singer, sans microphone, roaming the bistro singing at the top of her lungs.
            I kept saying to myself: “This is totally like a French bistro from the movies”. That’s American for you. You see so much on TV that when you see the real thing, you are not surprised. Talk about Simulacrum. A copy of a copy of a copy.
            Then we met a strange man named Julian in pink shoes, a sparkling red scarf, in a black sports coat, with long hair and a typical French hooked nose, smiling, kissing Catherine’s hand in a pervy way, excited to meet Americans. He tells us where he will be singing Christmas night (which we no doubt will go, fuck it). He told me he will bring me French beautiful woman as long as I do the same if he goes to New York. I say, sure, sure, and he writes down the cub he’s singing at (Le Chat Noir, not kidding).
            The Whiskey Twin, Michael the Mustached Mustard Jar Thief, and I leave, searching for cheap drinks and the wine has gone right to our heads. Suddenly, we see a church, and a slew of people gathered outside.
            “It’s Midnight Mass for Christmas,” Michael exclaims, “We have to go in!” I resist, feeling quite drunk, but the Catholic in me wins. We go into the 12th Century church and it’s full of a hundred people. The choir is singing as we find a place to lean against the back pillars.
            And it is beautiful. I forget about everything 
            We find some place called the “Student Bar” where shots of Absinthe are like 5 Euro and college girls get molested in the dark recessed mist filled dance floor in the basement. It is empty and we are loudly discussing art in English. This is trouble, this cheap Absinthe, for Mustached Mustard Jar Thief and I love this shit. We have way too many. Soon we are drunk outside Hemingway’s Doorway, laughing arm in arm down the cobblestone Rue de Mouffetard. Suddenly, we hear loud music coming from a couple flights up and there’s this old man with a beret on holding a glass of red wine, leaning out of his plant filled balcony.
            Drunk, The Whiskey Twin Catherine yells up in French about what kind of party is going on (she’s the only one who can speak French, therefore, get us into adventures).         
            We are invited up, half expecting the place to be wild, judging from the volume of the music and the dancing excitement of the old Frenchman on the balcony.
            There’s no one in the flat, except a sleeping fat woman under some thin sheets. Suddenly it feels real awkward. The old man is jovial raising his glass of wine. We smile. He pours us glass after glass,. We just keep dancing along with this old man, he seems pleased by this. The old lady mutters in her sleep as the Frenchman blares Jerry Lee Lewis even louder.
            I wonder what else I might get into here in this strange city… 


Saturday, July 14, 2012


            We are in the thick of it.        
            Summer is here!
            Let us welcome all the things that come along with this lovely season here in New York City and across our great nation in the Summer time. 
            There is a grand haze, like living in a steaming car, driving 90 miles an hour with no air-conditioning. Our lives speed along, windows fogged from our hot breath, into the 97 degree days, the concrete hot beneath us, the air humid, thick with moisture, and there never a time you are not sweating.
            The beer goes down like water, the sun sets brilliantly with hues of purple and pink, it’s hard not to feel the infection of ‘let’s fucking party’. And we are. Everyone is. There is no stopping the carnival of ‘fuck it.’
            Are there bills piling up behind your ears? Is the landlord angry again? Do you owe money everywhere?
            Of course you do.
            Have the credit card debtors been calling again? Has your ‘to-do’ list been replaced by empty beer cans and a half smoked joint on the kitchen table? Have you broken up with your partner so you can chase all the skin in the neighborhood so happily displayed in the heat of summer?
            There is no more sexually frustrating place in the world than New York City in the summer time. This is the moment all of those packed into gyms and yoga classes during the ugly months of Winter wait for.   
            Last summer I went to watch a great band up from New Orleans called Jean-Eric. The lead fellah, shirt off and all, writhes onstage with his equally disrobed band mates, screaming into the microphone: “What the fuck do they put in the water up here? Everyone is sexy as fuck. Get me back to NOLA, we still got ugly down there!”
            When one of my best friends moved here, I took him around and his eyes bulged at all the beautiful women strolling down Bedford Avenue.
            He said, slightly dazed: “Jesus. Welcome to New York City, the town where you want to fuck every women you see.”
            It’s true. I don’t know what Bloomberg puts in the water here. Must be some chemical mix of vanity and ambition.
            Sadly, this summer, when everyone is out getting beat up and dodging gangster shit at the grand opening of the new public McCarren Pool, I have to work my three jobs. That’s right, no grandiose dance parties on rooftops in the Lower East side or running around chasing the fine women of this neighborhood.
            I’m working my two bars, doing production work, and chasing literary dreams, all the while watching the world participate in the Holy Trinity of Summer life. You know what they are. I’ve spent so many summers just watching these people worship at this Trinity, and I hope one day I too will enact this holy union.
            Here are the three ‘must do’s’ while we all live in the volcanic passion of Summer 2012 (the last summer on Earth).

            THE BEACH

            Oh my God. Is there any more legal pornography than the beach? I can’t even walk on the sandy beaches without instantly becoming a leering pervert. No matter how hard I try, with that amount of skin parading around, it’s difficult for any red-blooded straight male to keep a lid on the visual spectacle.
            And beach life is so wonderfully simple! The heat is everywhere, rendering the human to utter laziness, lounging beneath a giant umbrella, an easy summer read in your hands (and a REAL book, people, I hope you get sand in your Kindle).
            Seriously, what else is there? You read, lounge, occasionally go dip your feet in the cool water, what are we Marseille Royals? The beach settles all problems.
            Too many deep thoughts? Look into the ocean and contemplate eternity.
            Suffer from depression? Get that Vitamin D up in that skin, yo!
            The beach is a place of total peace and teaches you the truly important things in life:
            Stop thinking so much and read a book.
            Let’s enjoy the sun before the solar systems mystical alignment destroys the Earth’s gravitational pull on December 21, 2012 and kills us all.
            And lots of nudity is lots of fun.


            So you’ve hit the beach, huh? Well, the staple of any Summer is the rooftop/patio drinking lifestyle. Casually sipping an ice cold beer, watching the main thoroughfares full of people who all don’t have the luxury of day drinking on a Tuesday walking to work. 
            And as the sun slowly set behind the majestic citadels of the isle of Manhattan, you can listen to the interesting banter of the group you’ve assembled (sort of the anti-Avengers, no superheroes, just drunken reprobates), as the beautiful waitress keep the beers coming. Order yourself a delicious Margarita (without sour mix, bitches). Get some Gin gimlets up in you. The slews of delicious drinks for the Summer are endless. And for some reason, the drunk feels better on a patio or rooftop.
            One Summer I won’t ever forget was the one I decided I would forsake my love of whiskey and drink only Tequila, Champagne, and Absinthe. Admittedly, I don’t remember much about this Summer except somehow starting a band, shooting my first two films, and sleeping with several women I cannot even remember their faces or names. I definitely Charlie Sheened that Summer, and I blame the season and the thirty-five patio/rooftop bars that line the three block radius from my front door for all the madness. 


            Meat. Steak. Salmon. For our vegetarian brethren, roasted veggies on the grill. Why in the world does food taste better basted and cooked over a grill in some backyard in Brooklyn? Much like the beach and rooftop/patio drinking, the spirit of the BBQ (truly mastered by those in New Orleans, where some of the best backyard BBQ was invented) is alive and well here in Bucktown.
            Here are some ingredients you need. First, a skilled grill man, There are ways to fuck up grilling. You wouldn’t think of it, but I’ve had some shitty BBQ, overcooked meats, charcoal lighting problems, smoke inhalation injuries. You got to get a grill man of expertise, otherwise all them dogs and burgers will taste slightly like overcooked McDonalds dribble.
            Second, you got to get a skilled bar man. Call me up, I’ll set your party up right. Mint juleps anyone? Keep that ice cold, keep those beers coming.
            Music is key. Find someone with the best iPod. The right music to kick it to that pleases everybody. This is a skill. Your 90’s playlist may not work every time. Plus it’s hard to relax when the grimy vocals from your favorite Alice in Chains album pours from the speakers and force others to adopt a heroin habit of their own.
            Next, get the right people. Talkers. Funny folks. Watch for inviting couple who do not participate in conversation. You know the types. They sit close and whisper to each other the whole damn party. Annoying motherfuckers. It’s like they are trapped in their own little world. You only get half-responses from them when asked direct questions. Leave those two to their own summer love and wait for the inevitable break up in the Fall to talk directly to them.

            So have fun out their kids, and remember to think about me when y’all get to worship these Holy Trinities of Summer. I’ll be the one working my three jobs watching you enjoy this fine season.
            Drink some Absinthe for me!   





Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bar Fiends (Or, “Just Like In Pac-Man, These Are The Ghosts You Dodge When You Go After Your Fruit”)

            That’s right.
            Bar Fiends.
            Not bar friends. I’ve got plenty of those.
            Bartending in the same neighborhood for many years, especially at the local dives, allows you to meet all kinds of people. As I’ve stated many times, you are the welcomed face behind the bar.
            Many local inhabitants of the neighborhood, when they can’t sleep, realize somewhere in their subconscious minds that you work that late shift on Tuesdays and know that if they sneak out for some of that bedtime whiskey you’ll greet them without judgment or recourse for sussing out a midnight reprieve.          
            As famed filmmaker W. C. Fields once said:
            “You got to believe in something in life and I believe I will have another beer.”
            I’m with you W.C.
            I’ve met some amazing, game-changing individuals in the bars over the years. I remember my Mother chastising me about what I was doing with my life when I first moved to New York and got my dive bar job.
            “Well, Matthew, what are you going to do? I mean, you’re in the big city now, you got a good job, what do you want out of life?”
            I, stupidly, full of liquor, leaned against the bar and said:
            “Mom. All I wanna do is write all the time, drink every day, and fuck everything that moves.”
            All my Mother did was shake her head and say: “Wow. And I thought I raised you with some kind of imagination.”
             In the end, as the years piled on like lime slices along the rim of my life’s glass, I’ve been lucky enough to weed out the good folks from the perilously bad behind the 3 feet of oak wood separating me from the masses. 
            I’ve made best friends.
            I’ve met (and somehow seduced with drunken blather) some amazing, smart, beautiful women.
            But, like Alabama Wurley said in True Romance:
            “Sometimes it goes the other way too.”
            Now what beautiful ex-call girl Alabama meant was how we always expect love to somehow sour. But with great luck, it reveals itself gorgeously, without any effort or expectations.
            And like love, some of these dark bar nights can ‘go the other way’ too. And I’m talking about Bar Fiend kind of madness.
            It’s there. Under every ‘just one more please’ uttered thousands of times in all the bars across this great nation, a layer is peeled from the drunk onion, and yes, the bartenders catch the evidence of these demonic changes.
            There are nights that completely justify security presence. There’s bloody bar fights, lovers raging with highly public arguments, someone falling dead drunk to the floor.
            And it’s only 1130pm on a Saturday.
            Yes, you are in need of some protection from these more than common events.
            Then there’s the people who are true Bar Fiends, straight up alcohol demons, right when the booze hits, they change, like shape-shifters, into serious problems.
            In my illustrious history of bartending, I’ve only had three people throw pint glasses at my head and all of them have been women.
            It’s strange. When certain women get drunk, they turn far more violent than men.
            I’ve had men expose their dicks to me, I’ve see people crush beer cans on their heads and burn themselves on purpose with the candles lining the bar for fun (or just to feel something).
            But the one phenomenon that has always confounded me is what we’ll call the ‘hitter chicks’.
            For some reason, when certain women get extremely wasted, they just start slapping people. And most of the time, it is completely unwarranted.
            Nothing against the ‘fairer’ sex, but nine times out of ten when you hear that flesh slapping sound, you can be rest assured that it’s a very drunk woman smacking the shit out of someone.
            Let’s chat about a Certain Women that decided to wait until my shift was over at 4am. Seemed nice. Totally funny. Enticing accent.
            Good hair. I’m a sucker for that.
            So the night is going fine and liquor’s flowing like a psychotic waterfall, and suddenly, it’s the end of the shift. I politely alert the woman that we have to close.
            She doesn’t respond.
            She’s hovering in a blue dress, talking intensely into a very drunk, very frightened man’s ear.        
            I find it curious when attractive women lurk around whatever men are left in the bar at this late hour, and judging by the fear on these men’s faces, you can always assure oneself that you’re dealing with a serious ‘undesirable’. Usually there’s always ‘someone’ who will take them home. Most men score a notch above chimpanzee. But when all the takers look like they’ve just seen a ghost, that’s when there’s trouble.
            I ignore my instincts and carry on trying to close the bar.
            “Miss, I’m terribly sorry, we’re closed,” I say, “Everybody’s got to split.”
            The dude stands, ready to jump out of his skin from whatever this lady was telling him. He leaves quickly. And then I see it:
            She turns slowly over and with eyes that began with charm are now full of rage.
            I don’t have to do anything,” she purrs—and not in a safe way. Like how a murderer whispers in your ear kind of way.
            Nothing is about to go well.
            “Miss, I mean nothing personal by this, but you must leave. Its past 4:30a.m. I don’t want any trouble.”
            I’m falling into my customer service routine. Like some wild lion tamer, knowing the danger of the species, deftly stepping near, but not near enough to be on the receiving end of any claws.
            She, no doubt can sense this, now that the full Dr. Jeckyll/ Ms. Hyde has consumed her, and has no doubt been in this dance with bartenders before. She rises from her stool and leans over the bar.
            “Can I say something please?” She slurs, eyes fixed like a predator on me. I usher some of the other bar patrons out, dunk the remaining dirty pints into the water, and lean slightly close to her side of the bar.
            “Yes Miss?”
            She squints her eyes. “You’re a son-of-a-bitch.”
            And there it is.
            “I see,” I say, polishing a glass calmly. This is the Zen moment of bartending. This is when you see everything in slow motion. 
            You can see the bait of fury of her eyes.
            You must not react.
            “That’s fine, Miss. No problem. It’s just that it’s late and I’d like to go home.”  
            “Motherfucker. Come closer,” she says.
            I see her fists clenched on the bar. She notices.
            “What do you think I’m going to do, pussy, hit you? You like to be hit?”
            I breathe out quick, hit the music off, jam up the lights full bright, and walk slowly down the bar.
            “Listen lady, (I only use the word ‘lady’ when I’m seriously condescending) I don’t like your tone. You need to leave this bar now or…”
            “Or what? Or what? What are you going to do? You want put your hands on me? That’s what you want, don’t you?”
            Admittedly, I do suffer from slight BDSM tendencies, but I usually refrain from these activities until getting to know and certainly not when it’s obvious the woman in question wants to perform criminal action against me.
            “No. I would just like you to leave. Please.”
            She squints and grins:
            “I bet you wouldn’t even know how to handle a woman. Right?”
            She leans in, confident, the blood boiling, the fury glowing within her. She apparently believes this sort of emasculation will work on me. She probably doesn’t know I was raised by women and have built immunity to this form of attack.
            “Miss, please. Get the fuck out of here.”
            She stews: “Yep. I bet you never held a woman and drove yourself into her, feeling her come, shuddering on you, because of you. You probably know nothing about that.”
            “Look lady, we’re not here to talk about my sexual prowess. If you don’t leave, I’m going to have to call the police.”
            She lightens up: “Oh please do. Bring them pigs down here. I love those pigs.”
            There is no way to solve this. You can’t put your hands on a patron, especially a woman. And this lady was the type to start slapping the shit out of me. I even wage she’s a cheek biter type. She can’t wait to taste someone else’s blood.
            I walk away now, leave her to her spite. I wash some dishes at the far end of the bar, leaving in her shadowed end of the dark bar, the neon light in the window blinking like some beacon above her silhouette. Some kind of logic must have persevered in her deranged mind. Her silhouette slumps under the blinking neon light, and, filled a last bit of energy she could muster, grabs her oversize purse and storms out of the bar.
            I rush over and lock the door behind her. First thing I do is go to the bar, pour a double Jameson, and put that fucker down like it had the antidote in it.
            Now, I was lucky. I knew this. No cops. No hitting.
            Escaped again.
            The next week, I’m describing the event to a fellow bartender, who stares at me, shakes his head.
            “What?” I ask.
            He explains that he ran into the same women the other night. She got rowdy, rude, started creeping out the guys (“and these guys were desperate and still afraid of her”, he adds) and then, come four o’clock, refused to pay her bill, became angry, and started the same routine that happened with me.
            “What the hell did you do?” I ask.
            He chuckles: “I called the fucking cops on that bitch.”
            “What did they do?” I ask.
            He goes onto to explain that when the cops arrived she kept daring them to hit her, to manhandle her, to slap the cuffs on her wrists (“I love the feeling of steel, fucker, put them on me, come on!” was the quote he explained).
            “Yeah,” my colleague said, “they had to call a lady cop in because the guy cops feared lawsuits.”
            (Note: Upon the writing of this, I have spotted this crazy woman at several bars in the Williamsburg, and even more importantly, this evening, harassing two women workers at the bar. Thank God they were women, because this Bar Fiend specifically goes after men. There are others who go to the other way).

            Bar Fiends are Legion. They are everywhere. And you won’t know, at least until 3am, that you are sitting right next to one.