The Neverland Bar: An Ode to a Past Life in the Service Industry

Posted: 3 June, 2011 in Rants
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Shuffle Says “God’s Gonna Cut you Down” Johnny Cash, American IV: The Man Comes Around

So it dawned on me this week that I’m really supposed to be a grown up.  Last weekend seniors from my alma mater celebrated their release into the wilds of the world. Which means I am no longer even a recent graduate. I have officially had a fullyear since tossing my cap to get my shit together and start acting like an adult and much to my dismay things actually appear to be going in that direction.

I’m employed at a job I didn’t realize until last week is in fact full-time.  When I got there I thought this would just be a sideline gig I use for eating money until I get my “real” career going.  I’m also involved in what might be described as my first real relationship, at about four moths it is at least my longest stint in the world of monogamy.  I’m in a flat where, for the first time I have to handle bills myself and I’m having to make friends outside of school.

Looking back now, It’s also been about a year since Nowhere Road‘s conception and it has yet come close to fruition. Still looking for an artistic team and final drafts of the first volume are in limbo.

In short I’m feeling a sense of responsibility over my life for the first time and I don’t know how comfortable I am with. Today I spent hours trying to figure out when and how I can get back to Cork City. I miss that place so fucking much, but even with a job as flexible as mine it’s still difficult to find enough time to justify a thousand dollar plane ticket.

I’m trying to figure out why this is.  It’s not like I haven’t held jobs or paid for myself or lived in new places before. Then last week I had an epiphany, Lor and I were watching Hook and it got me all contemplative. Working at a bar was never much like real life. Some days I wish there was a bar like Neverland. Somewhere you can go and stay and an irresponsible pseudo-artistic twenty-something forever. The life of waitstaffers and bartenders certainly treats you  that way.

My days and nights off took place when the rest of the world was quiet, so I never sat in traffic, never stood in line for anything. I could go out most every night because until I moved to Chicago, it had been about five years since I’ve had to get up for anything before ten.  I walked away with cash every day, so I never worried about an advance or when I’d be paid next, never left any record with plastic transactions, never worried about taxes.  Until now my leases and bills were all under someone else’s name. Working at a bar, I could always take off whenever I wanted. and since I didn’t spend ALL my money on booze and drugs, I could save up, move away untill I was out of money, return and repeat.  If I was ever short, there was never any shortage of bars in need of good help. When I cam back. there would always be a job waiting for me. No week would really be busier than any other, so I was never really necessary and I liked it that way. There’s a great deal of freedom in not being needed.

Everyone from the ‘industry’ in your neighborhood knows everyone else, so you’re always getting drunk for nothing.  You feel like you’re part of some community of social lost boys refusing to grow up; spending your days fighting the pirates of corporate yuppiedom.

Trouble is, you still age. you head off second star to the left and straight on till morning and when you come back you’re coming on 40 and you’re still right where you left off.


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