She only wore green on days when she really felt like she had to recoup. It wasn’t superstitious and she had no record of the ritual ever bringer her anything like luck. But she didn’t believe in luck. She believed in the power of the brain. She hated the color green. It made her think of slime and swamp mutants. But she liked to challenge herself. She liked to turn mental switches off and on. So that if she started her day actively deciding to wear a color she detested, than maybe she would take a new route to work, and maybe she could answer her emails faster and more efficiently, and maybe when Terry in accounting hounded her for her daily report she’d already have it in her out box ready to send, and when it was time to lay the bingo cards on the table at the weekly game, her eyes and ears would be more attuned to the letters and numbers, her hands more responsive and her cry of bingo more winning.
It was seven and he had to be at work in two hours. He had just enough time to get to Brooklyn, give Sara a goodbye hug and get back on the train to make it to work, hopefully no more than twenty minutes late. Not that it mattered anyway. They were never going to fire him. The turn over there was so high they couldn’t afford to let go of anyone who cared enough to get to work within an hour of their call time. It was one of those bars that felt like any time you walked in it would be dead. Maybe there’d be a few neighborhood schmos who didn’t care to talk to each other. That’s what it looked like most of the time anyway. Desolate. Lonely. Sad. Pitiful. But there was some dusty little glimmer to it that made you think this place could be great. And every now and then it was. Great that is. You’d walk in on one of those nights that you wanted to do exactly that, be that neighborhood schmo that just sat at the bar and sip on whatever and contemplate life or misery or love lost or the mystery of what have you and it just so happened that on that night everyone else had that same idea, and the bar really would be great for the night. The juke box would make its quarters. The bartender his money and the customers would all unite in their loneliness and sing loudly to songs they loved in high school. He told himself that’s what kept him there. Nights like those. They happened so seldom that they still had a sense of novelty to them, some sort of warm charm that made him feel at home, but they always seemed to happen when he was ready to walk in and quit, or not show up at all, or go in and get right to work and suddenly go off on the first customer that complained that the beer was warm. “You don’t like warm beer?” He’d say. “You don’t like warm beer? Then why do you keep coming back to this dump and ordering it? You know it’s never going to be cold. These taps are never going to get fixed. And you sir are never going to amount to anything more than a man at bar who habitually orders a drink that at some point was beneath him.” But he doesn’t say that. He simply tells the man that he will talk to the owner as he always says. But he doesn’t talk to the owner. He doesn’t walk out either. He doesn’t quit. He keeps coming back. Tonight is going to be one of those nights. He can feel it. It’s been bad lately. It’s been slower than usual. His contempt has snowballed. He is due for one of those nights. Especially tonight. She’s leaving tomorrow and this two hour window is his only chance to say good bye.