Working Class I

The pain in the shoulder. The ache in the elbow. The jar in the wrist. Thirty years of flipping liquor bottles from the rail. Hauling kegs. Tipping bar stools up and down. Collaring drunks, tossing them in the street. Dodging right hooks, left hooks, uppercuts and wild hay-makers. Millions of glasses washed and stacked. Bend over. Turn round. Wipe. Sweep up. Pick up. Clean the throw up. Bartender, my I-phone fell in the toilet pan, can you get it out?

Could have spent 30 years staring at a screen. Or sitting at a desk. That work has its own toll. Sore backs. Bad eyes. Heart disease. Meetings management dumb titles, CEO, who cares? Lifting kegs makes the back grow stronger. Eyes right, eyes left, eyes on the back of the head, bartenders don’t miss a thing. On the liquor river, eyes meet, stay after closing, do you like my Martinis?

Carpe noctem, the sun also rises but bartenders rarely see the butter on the eastern horizon. More luck with the melt in the west. Check the legs, strong, standing up for 8 hours, the buttocks pressed as firm. The pain in the shoulder. The ache in the elbow. The jar in the wrist. Not so bad, no complaints. The heart beats. The lungs open. The tongue speaks. It’s opening time. The bar stools are soon sat upon.

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