It was late. I had that tired feeling. The kind that leaves grit on your teeth and a rock in your gut. I was low. Low on cash, low on luck and low on mood. There were few patrons left in this dark, smelly hole of a bar I had dragged into.
I was looking for nothing. The kind of nothing that can only be bought by the hard bite of whisky. That nothing. Empty nothing. A nothing that takes you nowhere but down. A nothing that makes you forget. Forget the pain, the ache, the feel. The nothing that makes you forget you once had a life.
I made my way to the dim lit bar. A bare bulb, that must have been hung in the 70’s, swung back and forth from the ceiling. Shadows from the bar tilted too and fro. It made me sick. I wanted to puke that rock out of my stomach. I tried to settle. If I looked at one thing, like a bottle, I could steady myself.
“What do ya want?” slurred the bar keep. His smile, toothy and decayed, did nothing for my humor. He had a name tag. What kind of moron would wear a name tag in a dive like this. Maybe it was from some old job. Maybe it reminded him of someplace. A place like that damn tag. It was shiny, clean, almost pristine. It stuck out. Lost in a sea of dull and bland. A shiny bit bobbing up and down. Waves of yellow light washed over it; back and forth.
It glared at me. Pulling me to remeber. I stared at it dully. Memory I’d come here to bury crawled its way to the top of my skull. I saw letters on the tag. Clear and crisp letters. For a moment the letters came together. It stole me from the edge of my memories. I focused on the word, one word, “Daniel”
‘Funny’, I thought, ‘real funny’.
“Jack, Daniel”, I said. “The whole damn bottle!”