“Hey Woody, gimme a beer and one of your homespun homilies,” I said as I plopped down on an empty barstool.
Woody turned and began to fill up a frosty mug with a dark, potent lager straight from the tap. My mouth began to water at the sight of the lather rising to the top of the mug. Woody knew I liked to bury my face in the foam with my first sip, so the wet froth covered my lips and mustache. I always experienced a hot flash of déjà vu when I licked the suds off my lips.
Woody placed the brimming twelve ounces of delicious dark decadence in front of me and laughed. “Ty, is that why you come in here every day, to receive enlightment with your booze?
I sighed in contentment as I took a long, deep swallow of the cold brew, just what the doctor ordered. It had been a long day and I wasn’t looking forward to another night home alone. Then I performed my ritual tongue bath on my foamy lips, a silent declaration to anyone watching I was a certified ‘ham’, a hot-ass-mess.
“Well, it’s certainly not the decor of this hole in the wall that draws me and the other patrons. When was the last time this place had a fresh coat of paint? Yes, the beer is cold and tasty as usual, but I consider you our resident Jedi Master. The neighborhood Yoda disguised as a humble bartender.”
Woody rolled his eyes skyward and snorted. “You come in here because everybody knows you and I let you run up a tab. Ok, try this one on for size,” he said. “It’s one of my personal favorites.”
Woody’s words of wisdom for today were short and sweet…one sentence, but I was stunned by the visceral reaction those thirteen words triggered in me. It took him no more than five seconds to say what he had to say and then he left to go service another customer.
I raised my glass in a toast to Woody’s wisdom and said, “Cheers”. Then I killed the last of my beer with one swallow.
The bar had been rowdy before Woody dispensed those pearls of life, but everyone who heard them stop what they were doing and looked inwardly. I stared into my now empty mug and sat there pondering how much the truth of those words applied to me. My next drink wouldn’t be a beer, I needed something a lot stronger.
© 2013 Will LaForge