The loner

He sits at the bar, staring blankly into nothingness, his fingers

> making mince meat of the beer mat as he waits anxiously for another

> drink. The barman makes no effort at small talk as he pours him

> another. With the glass now full and his bloodshot eye twitching, he

> raises the cold drink to his frothing mouth, staring now at The

> barman without paying gratitude. He puts down the glass after a long

> swig, and then with a slimy hand, slides the exact change across the

> bar. Not a word is spoken between the two as The barman puts the

> money into the till and goes to the opposite end of the bar to bury

> his head into the daily sport.

> The loner ponders a moment, and slips into thought….

> “…I need to stop watching tv. As soon as that thing goes on My day

> is over. And there’s never anything I enjoy watching. 157 channels

> and nothin on. Nothing but lies. I don’t even know which lie to

> believe anymore. I just flick the channels. My attention span is

> getting worse. I can’t concentrate. I forgot what I went upstairs

> for the other day. My brain has turned to mush. Too much tv and

> internet. Useless information overload. It’s all sugar for the

> brain. Turning it to slop. Was it tom waits who said, “Information

> is being confused with knowledge. And wealth confused with

> happiness.” Or something like that.. Anyway. I don’t exercise

> enough. Who am I fooling, I don’t exercise at all! I should get

> outside more. I used to walk everywhere. Now I just sit and get

> fatter. I get bored, so I drink. It passes the time. Damn. Time to

> learn something new! I really need to read more. I haven’t finished

> a book in months. My mind wanders when I read these days. My eyes

> scan the letters but the words don’t sink in. Am I getting old? Is

> it only gona get worse from here? Christ. I need a holiday. I can’t

> socialise. I’m such a misfit. I’m only comfortable when I’m drunk. I

> just wanna get from birth to death without any hassle. People equal

> hassle. People can be ok, just as long as they keep quiet. Is it so

> hard for people to just shut up once in a while? I need another

> drink. Think I’ll order myself one. I wonder what’s on tv…”

> Someone else walks into the bar and notices the loner and smiles. An

> old friend, he sits beside the loner and orders him a drink.

> “How’s things?”

> “Great” replies the loner. “Really really great.”

> “That’s good to hear,” his friend says, as he raises his glass. “And

> happy birthday!”

> “Thanks, Amigo.” The loner sips his new drink and stares back into

> nothingness. He thinks to himself, “This could end up being the best

> day of my life.”

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