Jack has always enjoyed a drink, some of his
friends would claim he enjoys it a little too much and right now, in the depths
of his forty-first birthday, he knows exactly how it will play out.
Tonight, like so many before them, will inevitably end in a drunken mess, a
night his memory will so easily forget but on this day, his special day, it has
all kicked off a bit earlier than usual; the mainline to oblivion had begun at
4 that afternoon. He'd left his shop job with a box of beers and a quart bottle
of own-brand dark rum before returning, almost inevitably, to his room.
It is always the same in his room, where a routine has been adopted that will
ensure life never gets dull and this afternoon is no different.
The second he is through the door he is
ripping at the box, desperate for a taste, desperate for the sustenance a good
beer will offer his thirst, and soon it arrives. Dumping the box on his
floor he grabs a glass off his sideboard and immediately pours the largest of
large rums he plans on pouring on this his special day. After downing
about three shots in one go he settles back into his armchair, the one piece of
seating in his sparsely furnished room, and contemplates his next move.
Almost a nano-second passes before he concludes it is time to roll and smoke a
joint. The perfect threesome for a perfect Thursday afternoon.
Sparking the joint to life his mind and body rejoice into a calm beautiful mess
and each toke is backed by a chug of beer until the joint is finally tapped out
in the nearby ashtray. Moments later and another phallanx of rum is
introducing itself into the heady mixture that is currently ruminating inside
Jack's head but despite all this he knows already how tonight will play
out. It will be just like so many other nights in this town by the sea,
the town down the road from the big smoke that had priced him out a few years
earlier, a night in which he would again experience total loneliness, total
Even today, on his birthday, he knows his
phone will remain silent unless his parents call, no one will knock on his door
and no one will greet him when he goes to the bar later. Rising from his
seat he walks over to his laptop and loads up some music to keep him company,
something to remind him that today is apparently aspecial' day. A
familiar guitar riff comes screaming through his speakers before a Scouse voice
calls out to him.
You say it's your birthday? It's my
birthday too! the voice sings as Jack drinks from his beer, deciding it
is time for another joint. The music plays as the smoke is smoked and the
drink is drank and the songs take Jack on an adventure through the blues, jazz,
punk, rock 'n' roll and soul and it all makes him feel really good. It is
the music that soundtracks his life that keeps him strong, that keeps him going
no matter how bad his job gets. When the music works with the booze and
the smoke it is magic and on those kind of nights he feels the need to test
himself, test himself against humanity and only after hours of dedicated
preparation does he know he is finally ready, the final piece of the jigsaw
being the rolling and hiding of a few strong prepared joints into his coat
pocket. It is then he knows he is finally ready to deal with all that
humanity will inevitably try and throw at him, all those damn people who cause
all of his problems, those damn people he has nothing in common with,
absolutely nothing at all.
Stepping out into a balmy late Spring evening
the warm breeze is pleasing against his face and looking up Jack sees no one,
absolutely no one is around on this particular Thursday night, everyone is
where they want to be, all except Jack who is rarely where he wants to
be. Tonight he takes his usual walk, his favourite thing about living in
this town by the sea, a walk that some people travel hundreds, if not
thousands, of miles to walk. Turning right at the end of his street he
heads south and moments later is staring out at the sea. He turns to look
up at the terraced housing and briefly lets his mind dream of what it must be
like to live in a place like that, a place so completely out of his and so many
others' reach. He pulls a joint from his pocket as he steps out along the
promenade and still there are not many people around. A gaggle of
homeless people are talking at the top of the steps leading down to the lower
promenade but ignore Jack as he passes and soon after, just as the joint is
reaching its final embers, he reaches the bottom of the street at which the bar
Entering the bar he finds it almost deserted
as well, a few old-school drinkers lurking in the corners, a gaggle of
thirty-something punks pouring over the jukebox but most importantly no one sat
in his favourite seat, the seat right by the bar, the place he can see almost
everything that happens, the place from where he can interact with everyone or
no one at all. Either way it is the place nearest the drinks and that is
his sole reason for being here, the two young good-looking barmaids merely an
extra bonus. As he sits back on the stool one of them turns and walks
towards him. She is young, Jack reckons she is early-20s, and blonde and
big breasted. Smiling as she approaches Jack merely tells her what
exactly he wants and waits. The beer is pouring as she prepares his large
rum, neat as it always should be, and moments later they sit before him.
He hands over his hard-earned money and looks down at the drinks laid out
before him. Picking the beer up first he takes a long hard slug on it
before placing it down, in preparation for that first exquisite taste of
non-supermarket dark rum. The drinks go down easily and a bit too quickly
as he surveys the scene; the music is obvious and formulaic mid-90s punk and
the dark corners just get darker until the inhabitant either slinks off home
without a word to anyone or more occasionally merely slips off to sleep knowing
home offers nothing better.
"Hey lovely," he calls out to the other
barmaid, determinedly not cleaning anything, and as she approaches a smile
appears across her face before she leans in close.
"Yes my lovely, what can I get you?" she
drools as if either drunk or horny or simply drunk on lust. Jack gives
her precise instruction on what drinks he needs and how he wants them prepared
but almost immediately all that is forgotten as she turns her back to him
revealing, at last, the most succulent looking peach of a bum he'd seen in
years. As she struts back to the spirit dispensers he can't take his eyes
off her and as she pours a large shot into the awaiting glass he can't stop
looking. She turns and almost immediately, as his eyes ravage her tight
young body, he spots her nipples brazen beneath her tight white t-shirt, as
hard as bullets as she approaches him with his rum. Pausing at the draft
line she finishes off his order before placing them in front of him, that same
sexy smile across her face.
"Anything else tonight my lovely?" she
asks but Jack has no response, no response at all after so long without the
company of women. He merely hands her what he hopes is a 10-note, his
eyes are still preoccupied, and takes a long pull on his beer before sitting
back and pulling the glass of rum closer. Examining it closely it is
already clear that it ain't got long in this world, confirmed when he merely
chugs on it, down in one swift mouthful and it's only a few seconds before he
finds himself calling her over again, this time for another large rum, more ice
this time he instructs her. Watching her whilst simply nursing his beer
he sees her take each ice-cube out of the box and then gently rub it against
her t-shirt, right around those magnificent breasts she'd seemed so keen to
show off and this time it is clear as she approaches him. She is a demon
woman, one who sees a poor soul out on the street and must have him, must make
him love her more than anything he's ever experienced and then ruin him.
Take him from the heights of ecstasy to the depths of despair in the blink of
an eye, the use of a few words and it'd be all over and Jack would know he'd
never meet another like her.
Time drags on remorselessly, the minutes
turning into an hour and then eventually the hours turning into almost the
night being through. She'd continued to flirt every time he'd ordered a
new round of drinks but he still hadn't said anything, not even finding out her
name but then a change in view came through the front door. A woman Jack
loathes and who he'd first meet here a good few years previously and who he'd
never seen straight with walks in, her lumbering boyfriend behind and two
50-something metal rebels, both with immaculately groomed blonde hair and
matching black leather jackets.
"Evening," she slurs, holding onto her
boyfriends' arm for support, " ain't seen you in a while have we? What
brings you down here tonight?"
"I'm here to drink Ellen, to drink myself into
"Ok, wanna come outside with us and
"No, I'm here to drink, nothing else, get
"Sure," she says, at last seemingly
getting the idea that not everyone liked her.
Her boyfriend begins ordering a round for the
group of them, two other guys loiter at the back not speaking or even looking
in Jack's direction. Despite their leather jackets they glare long and
hard at the 30-something punks and Jack can feel their waves of contempt flood
the room. Jack knows the best way to forget this whole situation ever
happened is to drink more, all helping him forget it ever
happening. His arm waves across the bar at the young beautiful
barmaid who comes sauntering over, her smile still fixed strong but her t-shirt
now not bursting under the immense pressure her nipples exerted.
"Same as before please sweetheart," he
tells her and as she reaches up to the bottle of rum hanging from its dispenser
her t-shirt rises and her magnificently pert bum is revealed for all to see
under the outline of her tight blue jeans. Jack's eyes are out on stalks
and it is impossible for him to avert his stare and just as Ellen turns to say
something to him he begins licking his lips.
"You dirty old fucker, she spits into
the air upon seeing Jack salivating."
"What? What the fuck did I do now? he
retorts, turning his eyes away at last giving his full concentration to the
"You know who that is?"
"Nah, a new barmaid I guess?"
"Well kinda, that's Mike's
"Really, oh shit. It ain't going to
please him that I've already fucked his ex-girlfriend and now I'm going to put
the moves on his daughter, poor fucker!"
Ellen tugged on her boyfriends' arm, "Chris!
Did you just hear what this old fucker said? He wants to fuck Sable! Can you
"What?" Chris responds, unsure what he's
just meant to have heard, unsure of anything besides how much he wants a pint
and for his stupid girlfriend to just shut up for 10 blissful minutes.
"The dirty fucker just said he wants to fuck
Sable!" she says again, a look of utter shock on her face as if to
emphasis the hugeness of what is unraveling. Jack turns his attention
back to his beer and as he picks it up a voice appears up close and personal
right in his ear.
"You fucking pervert, we don't tolerate your
kind in here," the voice says before a violent yank on Jacks' shirt
collar drags him from the comfortable confines of his stool and into a
confrontation he really hadn't expected. There are, he's learnt over the
years, hell the decades he's been drinking in cheap bars like these, these kind
of places which attract these kind of people which almost always means that
something is going to happen. This bar is certainly not one of those
places but he knew from the first moment he'd talked with Ellen that here is a
person who it could be very easy to majorly fall out with. The violent
retaliation from her entourage is a shock though as normally, in this coastal
town, people who drink in bars like this can't be bothered to do anything, so
often stoned, so often drunk. They merely spend their time waiting for
something interesting to happen or waiting for death, most days not caring
"She's only 15!" an angry voice screams
in his face, "are you some kind of pervert?"
With no time to respond a fist comes screaming
through the air causing Jack to react quickly enough to avoid any contact and,
as if on some kind of survival instinct, he downs his rum, smashes the glass on
the bar and raises it to stand guard against any further attempt to
attack. Ellen and her group of pretty-boy rebels move back as Jack picks
up his beer with the other hand, holding them at bay as he swigs from his
"You psycho!" Chris shouts over the din
of the jukebox as an hysterical Ellen begins screaming. The older barmaid
suddenly realises what is happening and rushes off towards the stairs, clearly
looking for some experienced back-up in case the situation escalates into
Another punch comes flying through the air and
this time does just about connect with Jack's chin but all it does it knock him
back against the bar where the young barmaids' hands rub against his chest over
"You want to take this outside you
fuckers?" Jack asks, finishing his beer whilst heading towards the door,
knowing almost inevitably they will follow, some kind of retribution for his
ruining Ellen's night. Hell if Jack is honest he lives for moments like
this. His skill and the ease with which he could get her raging on just
about any given subject provided him with some of the funnest moments of his
As Jack opens the door to the bar the manager
arrives at the bottom of the stairs, armed with a baseball bat but not moving
as Jack walks on out the door. Seconds later the immaculately groomed
rebels follow with a punch to the back of Jacks' head. He turns quickly
and immediately begins running towards the biggest of the three guys stood
before him. They tumble to the ground and Jack gets in a few decent
punches before the other two move in and try and grapple him clear but he
punches his way out, all the way out of the mix and suddenly the young barmaid
is by his side.
"I'm Sable, I'm Mike's daughter," she
says as her face disappears behind the deepest jam-red blush Jack has ever
"Hi I'm Jack," before he successfully
repels another attack.
"Take me away Jack," she says as the
redness subsides leaving nothing but her beautiful face.
"I'm 16 Jack, it's all legal..." she
says, hoping her words get across to the three assailants seemingly destined to
ruin Jack's best night in months, if not years.
As another attack begins Jack merely grabs the
assailant and holds him. "Now listen you fucker, listen to this beautiful
girl and listen good will you?"
"I'm 16 today and I love, oh, I love
him..." and she grabs his hand, walking off into the distance, off
towards a new life, a life spent knowing that sometimes when you find one like
Sable it's best to just leave the rest of humanity well alone.