After Keaton scared the shit out of the bitchass Mexican dude who was trying to start a fight outside of the bar he works at, the totally hot chick bartender who was watching from the doorway hollered “last call!”.
I headed for the entrance and passed Miguel and Keaton. Miguel fist-bumped me.
Keaton still hadn’t moved. He looked cold as ice but I know him. He was pissed off.
I went inside, got myself whatever they have on tap and hung out at the bar, flirting with the hot chick bartender… Don’t y’all worry. I wasn’t starting up with a fourth chick. Most of the dudes in the bar would be really disappointed to know that although Dani’s pretty much a 10, she’s also a total lesbian. And before you get excited about a two hot lesbians making out, you should know her girlfriend is a total 1. A plaid shirt and hiking boots kind of 1 with a pierced tongue.
I finished up my beer just as Miguel turned the lights up so people would get the hell out.
“Stick around, bubba,” said Keaton, coming inside to make sure everyone was gone. “Get him another. And you get your ass out of the way while we close up.” Dani refilled my beer and I took a seat on a stool in the corner.
Once everyone else was out, Miguel shut the door and Keaton lit up a small cigar.
“FUCK, I wanted to take a swing at that little wetback. He so deserved to wake up and find his ass in the Huntington ER.”
“Oooooh,” said Dani. “Keaton said a bad word. I hope you’re offended, Miguel.”
“I ain’t offended. The dude was a wetback. I hate those assholes who make Mexicans look bad.”
“It wouldn’t have been much of a fight anyway,” I said from my corner. “One Keaton Penner Superman Punch and he’d have been out.”
“Yeah…and they’d have had to call an ambulance for the motherfucker.”
Miguel had pulled out a trash can from behind the bar and was picking up cups and stuff. Dani was counting out the drawer. I worked as a bartender in Knoxville for a couple months before my senior year of college. I was real good at getting girls to buy extra drinks and leave big tips, but it sucked. I really don’t like people when they’re totally fucked up. Like the little Mexican dude Keaton was so pissed off at.
“Just chill, man,” said Miguel. “The motherfucker was just a piece of SGV wetback trash. His girlfriend’s probably driving him home to Azusa right now and he’s passed out in the car. He ain’t getting laid tonight. Now help me get this shit cleaned up so we can go home. I got a girlfriend waiting up for me.”
Cigars usually calm Keaton down. The one he had wasn’t working yet. It still wasn’t working when they closed up and we were heading to the garage. It’s the only safe place to park in Old Town since they start handing out parking tickets at 2 am.
“Why are you so pissed off, man? You get an asshole like that once a week.”
“This one made us look bad. And insulted the fuck outta Miguel.”
“Yeah, and he challenged you, white boy, and you didn’t take a swing at him.”
Keaton stopped, took a long puff on the cigar, and said “okay, fine, so you know me. Psychological insight is super gay, man.”
“You scared the shit out of him without even making a fist. That was pretty dang badass. Maybe more badass than hitting him. And if you wanted to hit him so bad, why didn’t you?”
“Fuckin rules, that’s why. The owners don’t want us to engage drunks. We can push and shove, but we can’t throw until they do. It sucks sometimes. Like tonight.” He took a long draw on his cigar. “You down for the IHOP, bubba?”
“Hell yeah. I’m starving. We had to go to a bullshit veganass restaurant because of Monica’s batshit crazy sister again.”
“Let’s get going. If I’m gonna have to listen to you complain, I want some food in front of me.”
“I just listened to you complain.”
“Yeah, but I complained about getting in a fight. You’re complaining about chicks. One’s a lot gayer than the other.”
Keaton was back.
He got in his truck and I got in the shitbox. At that time of night, it’s about 5 minutes from Old Town to the IHOP.
“Perfect timing,” said Keaton, getting out of the truck in the parking lot. “Just finished the Short Story.”