Tales From the Gay Bar – “Christina and The Steak” or “The Night Neomety was Wrong”

Posted: August 18, 2013 in TFTGB
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On my very first barshift, back in 2008, my shift manager pulled me aside and told me of Christina and The Steak. They were well known at the bar for causing trouble, and I was to be on the lookout for them. “But how will I know what they look like” was my, in my opinion, pretty dignified question. My shift manager merely laughed, “You’ll know” he said and went back to doing whatever it is shift managers do. I didn’t give it much more thought; I figured if they were violent I could just kick them out, simple right? Wrong!

A month or so would pass before I got to meet these two delightful characters. No delightful is not the word I’m looking for, I think colourful suits them better, yes, colourful. Christina was in an orange top, quite deep in the, eh, neck region. And blue pants that made her ass look about as wide as a barn. The steak wore a navy blue shirt with a fire breathing dragon curled around his sizeable beergut. Yes colourful is most certainly the word. They were both in their mid-forties and had that kind of look like life has been a bit rough. You know, the sagging cheeks, the eyes that never stay focused on one thing but seem to skid across the room constantly scanning for danger or opportunity, the lumbering walk that looks like a bitch (female dog you guys) about to give birth to the puppies she’s been carrying for too long.

My shift manager was right. I knew. The moment I saw them walk through the door. I knew. How did I know? Mainly because of him. The Steak was, I learned at that moment, not just a nickname. It was so much more. He was The Steak, there could be no doubt. He was big and tough and meaty, he even looked like he was a bit “under-cooked” if you catch my drift. He was the embodiment of a steak. If a steak and a human mated, this would be the result, of that I had no doubt.

Christina was cheery, The Steak, not so much. They sat down at the bar and he ordered a beer, she perused the drinks menu. Unsatisfied with the general selection she asked if I would make her something sweet. And then she winked. I thought I’d imagined it, or that it was involuntary, but I now know, it was most definitely voluntary and I most certainly did not imagine it. However I chose to ignore it, misjudgment on my part I’m sorry to say. I made some drink, I can’t even remember which, but then again the sickly sweet drinks have never been my cup of tea.

She praised the drink, I thanked her and moved on to a customer and his “G’n’T, squeeze of lemon, darling”. I went through the motions: Glass, Ice, “Which Gin would you like?” (Sneak a peek at him, loose wrists, styled hair, skintight clothes, eyeliner. He’ll have Bombay) “Bombay, darling”, Jigger, Gin, Tonic, Knife, Lemon, Squeeze, Straw, “There you are. That’ll be 50 if you’d be so kind”, Card, Terminal, Register, “DING”, Receipt, Pen, Signature, “Thank you darling”.

Short break: Read the above paragraph again, but this time with your most stereotypical gay man accent when you read his lines, it’s okay, we won’t judge you, much. It just adds so much more flesh to the character right? Okay, back to the bar.

Once done with G’n’T, squeeze of lemon, darling I cleaned up, wiped down the bar and then did the patient bartender spiel. (Your bartender does this too. It’s an act you put on, you stand around doing your best to not look bored when there are no customers, but in your mind you are either rehearsing the lyrics to “We Didn’t Start the Fire”, trying to remember what you had for breakfast or, if you are a dutiful employee, practicing different drinks in your head.)

So there I was, silently in my head going: Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnny Ray, South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMa “This drink is reeeeeally good”. Her screeching voice cut me of halfway through the first verse. I look over and see her greedily suck the last drops through the straw. It makes that sound that you can in no way reproduce in writing, yet we all know it well. The sound of air and liquid being drawn through a slim tube on to a waiting tongue. The sound of slurpees and kids birthdays. The sound of movie theatres and unrelenting anger.

She pulls out the straw and licks the last drops off of it. Her much-to-red lipstick is smeared on her teeth. She pushes her glass across the bar and asks “will you make me something like this, sweet, but with a bit of a bite to it” and there it is again. That wink. This time I’m sure. She winked at me. But I’m not the only one who saw, The Steak did too. He shoots me this look, I’ve never seen it’s like. It was a sigh mixed with anger and regret, and just a touch of resignation. All this in one look. I was a bit blown away honestly, but I collected myself and made some random drink. Sweet with a bite, just like she asked.

Again she praised the drink, and gulped it down quicker than a 6 year old when told he can’t have that cookie. This time she asked for “something sweet and sexy”. How is a drink sexy? I know some drinks have sexy names, like sex on the beach or one night stand, but how does a drink taste sexy? I asked if there was anything on the menu she thought looked good, she shook her head, “no they look so simple and boring, I like what you do better” Wink. You know what lady? Screw you and your sexy drinks, and screw your wink to!

I made her the simplest drink I could think of. A screwdriver! Glass, Ice, Jigger, Vodka, Orange juice, (and then the twist, I added another ingredient, it colours so violently so I only used a drop, there was no way she could taste it) Blue Curacao, straw, stir, serve. Which colour does blue and yellow make? Green! How many drinks can you come up with that are green? Me, I’m a bartender, I can think of a few. But this woman, this Christina, I’ll bet you my favorite shaker she had never seen a green drink before.

She went nuts! Bonkers! Mad! Completely frigging deranged! Over a drink, you guys. The most basic of drinks, the one I teach new bartenders first to explain the basics of drink making (or mixology if you insist). A screwdriver with a bit of colour mixed in and she was off her head. It was the best drink she had EVER had and I was just amazing and beautiful and talented andandand. I think she creamed her pants right on the spot, but no matter for this is where the story takes a slight turn.

The Steak, long overlooked and forgotten in the ecstasy his wife was living through her superb green screwdriver, got up. He didn’t say a word, he just got to his feet, drained his beer bottle, leaned slightly over the bar andCRASH! He brought the bottle down, holding it by the neck, on the edge of the bartop and it smashed, leaving him a nice little stab weapon.

Still not saying a word, in the now completely silent bar, he looked at me, looked at his wife, lifted the bottle neck with the jagged edges glinting in the dim lights, he grunted at me in a manner I can only assume was to convey “you get what I’m hinting at?”. I nodded, just at short curt nod of acquiescence. That was enough, he sat back down, pushed the bottle neck across the bar to me and motioned for another beer. I was not happy with the situation, but at least the immediate danger was averted, or so I thought. I was wrong.

In my mind I quickly calculated how long till closing, half an hour. 30 minutes, I could manage that, no need to make any more out of the situation right? Again, I was wrong. This must go down in history as The Night Neomety was Wrong. The steak and I had made a silent agreement, none more would come of this, we had marked up the borders of our respective countries. Mine was Barghanistan, his Guestran. We shared a border but I would not invade his capitol, Christran, Tehstina (okay Guestran was bad enough, I can’t come up with a good pun on Tehran and Christina, sorry)his capitol, Christina and he would not drop a beer bottle shaped atom bomb on me. The peace treaty had been drawn up, all that was left was to sign it and we could enjoy peace in our time.

Historians and people with a bit of knowledge of World War II will see the danger ahead, because when Neville Chamberlain said “Peace in our time”, what did eventually come to pass? Well not peace, that’s for sure, and the same happened here. There was a Yoko Ono among us, a nagging little bitch who would not give peace a chance. A lipstick smeared teethed, orange shirted, blue pantsed, ass as wide as the Rio Grande little devil who decided this was her time to shine.

She snaked her way back to the bar and with a shitty smirk on her face she locked eyes with me and said, just loud enough for three people to hear “We should dump him here and find somewhere quiet”. Who do you think those three people were? Well she could obviously hear herself, and clearly I could hear her as well. Who might’ve the third person been, huh? Some innocent bystander who forever would have the image of her wide, naked ass imprinted on the wall of his mind? A picture tried so hard to be erased, yet so very useful when trying to hold off an early orgasm. Could that be the third person? Well that would have made me a lucky woman, but alas, I am not.

The third person was, naturally, The Steak. It could be no other, such was the will of the higher powers and my fate was theirs to toy with as they pleased. He lunged across the bar, grabbed me by my shirt collar and pulled me close. Underneath the bar I was frantically stabbing the panic button as he snarled “You are damn lucky I’m in a good mood today!” Good mood? This was him in a good mood? Holy crap and all the apostles I was gonna die. This was it, I was done for! Dead meat! My tombstone would read “Here lies Neomety, Taken from us so young, Killed by Steak” I’m pretty sure I fainted.

And then there was a sound, not the gurgling of the last drops of a drink sucked through a straw, but a different sound. A sound that I will always, whenever I hear it and close my eyes, see as blue. And it grew, it came from outside and it seemed to echo off of the houses in the streets. And then there was light, blue lights, whirling and twisting and dancing on the walls and windows, playful, beautiful lights. And suddenly there was a floor, a sticky, cold, safe floor. One you could cling to and curl up on when the world was too much. And then an endless line of questions and from somewhere came a blanket and the hottest policewoman I will ever see forced a cup into my hands. It was warm and smelled like coffee, but I don’t drink coffee so I will never know what it was. And I remember starring at this beautiful woman, and once I regained my voice, I asked her for her number. And everyone laughed and said “she must be feeling better” and then the beautiful woman left and she took everyone with her, and the only ones left were me and my useless shift manager, who made me stay and clean up.

When I got home I slept for 15 hours. I woke up around dinnertime and my roommate asked what was for dinner. So I made Risotto and ate and went back to sleep and I never spoke of it again. No charges were filed, nothing came of it, except for one small favor: Christina and The Steak were banned for life from the bar.

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