And all at once the pattern was revealed to me, with the speakers blaring through neon signs, the faces all reminiscent of the wisdom and smoke drenched echoes from last night, last year, last life: there is nothing new under the sun.
There are the same five types of a person in every gin joint from Casablanca to Mishawaka. Every bar has a dishwasher without a vehicle and an alcoholic manager the workers affectionately refer to as "Mama;" every restaurant is a Rubix cube of gossip and misinformation spoken from the mouths of people who know you and love you more than your own flesh and blood. Lovers and friends come and go, but the regulars at the bar are forever.
The transient alcoholic is the exception. She wanders from watering hole to hole in the wall, always familiar but never recognized. She observes the group hugs and hash-tagged selfies from the outside, a participant, but never included. A story or two may be told some stormy night when the song she used to exhaust the speakers with plays and all the old-timers are reminded of the stumbling gypsy that made a fool of herself in one fleeting season that has since blended into the blurry grayness of time.
She is of no importance to them, but they are of the utmost importance to her and always will be. The saints and monsters who's arms she flung herself into willingly shall be catalogued in the testaments of glorified guilt; whispered in the hazy hour between wakefulness and sobriety, bleeding words through magnificently conducted choreography, waltzing our wretchedness in a pit-stained, shit-reeking bar.As if our troubles are any more than a drop in the grand ocean of time.
But oh, how potent that bruise of a drop is!
Like the pinprick of blood-stained sweat on Christ's brow, as holy as the bead of condensation from the beer bottle of the sticky bar top, or the tear stumbling from the weeping child's half-closed eye as clothes are scratched off of grass-stained hips and violated without welcome. In the end we are all drops, more silent and meaningless, and more deafening and earth-shattering than we will ever, ever know.