On a recent Friday night at local dive bar, Bar, a bartender named Connor surveys his territory: a tiny little space behind the bar measuring three feet by eight feet. He looks at his pile of frozen water, his bottles of wholesale well-liquor with speed tops, his oft-laundered rags for sopping: everything in his miniscule kingdom is in perfect order. No one, but no one is more powerful than Connor the bartender. Within the confines of this extremely small space behind the bar in this dark room.
Connor the bartender began as a lowly barback – the second most powerful person in this area the size of a child’s cot – but with hard work and dedication, Connor transformed himself from the man who merely stacks the beer cans in the corner, to the man who pulls the tab on the beer cans and bequeaths them to whomever his benevolence graces.
A customer approaches his domain and Connor waits. He waits because he can. Connor says when it’s time for another round. Connor says when you can pay your tab and go home. Connor will tell you, “how it’s going, man” when he’s good and ready. Because in here, in this barely-walkable dead space between the mason jar of tips and the branded tap handles, Connor is king.
When Connor goes home he has no power. His girlfriend, Jennifer, doesn’t give him the respect that a man who can bestow free shots whenever deserves. She doesn’t even call herself his girlfriend even though he has totally comped her several Sierras in a row, which is something a bartender only does for his girlfriend.
Whatever. Right now, a guy who works in marketing is asking for a vodka and soda and it’s Connor the bartender’s call. How much vodka will this man get? Will Connor play jazz and replace his soda with tonic?? WILL HE GET A LIME? Connor will decide. Connor will decide…when he’s ready.