“You want another one?”
Here we go, he thought, you might regret it. It’s always like that. You’re chatting with your buddy, having a good time, and the next moment you wake up with the worst headache ever, remorseful and miserable.
So much for my ability to resist. I’ll regret it. No way back from here on.
“That’s the spirit! Hey, can we get two more of these over here!”
Oh well. Now that the decision is made you might as well lean back and enjoy the rest of the night. Nothing to regret, really. Isn’t the ability to give in at the right moment the greater virtue, anyway? What’s that story again, two cars coming from opposite directions want to cross a narrow bridge that’s just big enough for one at a time. They both get there at the same time. Someone has to give in and let the other one pass first. Now that’s the smarter guy, right? I am this guy.
“There you go!”
He looked at the new pint, the blackness, the smooth light brown head. Almost white, he thought. Not such a bad idea after all.
“The best beer in the world.”
“Yeah, it’s pretty good.”
Pretty good, eh? Don’t give me that shit.
“Did you know that when he departed for the Samoan Islands to write Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson took along plenty of that stuff?”
He took a sip. Bittersweet, a hint of coffee and malt. Pure magic, he thought.
“Hey, let’s go to Dublin.”
“Yeah, you know what they say.”
“It tastes even better if you drink it on the Emerald Isle.”
I wonder why, though, he thought. I mean, it’s the same stuff, they don’t change the ingredients for the international market or anything. Maybe it’s the shipping. All that shaking can’t be very beneficial.
“Drink it where?”
“What do you think, man? Just the two of us in Dublin, for a week or so.”
“Yeah, let’s do it.”
“No, I mean, really, let’s book a flight and go there.”
He took another sip. We should really do it.
The band in the corner started playing again. No, he thought, band is not the right word. I mean they don’t really seem to get together to practice in a garage every week. It’s more like an improvisation. Do they even have a name? The sign only said ‘live music’.
The guitar player looked up, stopped playing, raised his pint and gulped it down as if he had just crossed the Sahara. Meanwhile, the fiddler and the girl with the whistle just kept on playing.
Session, he thought. That’s what it is.
The guitar player joined in again.
“Good music. Cheerful.”
“Yeah. In Dublin they play music like that every night.”
Well, at least that’s how it’s supposed to be. He’d read about it in one of those brochures. Why should it be different from this place, anyway? After all, the owner is an Irishman, he thought.
“Where’s that guy from?”
“The barman. The owner. Where’s he from?”
“He’s American. Told me so the other night”
Anyway, he thought.
“We should really do it.”
I’ll look for flights first thing when I get home.
He gazed at his pint. It was half empty by now. Or is it half full. One way of looking at it made you a good person, he knew, the other way meant you’re a miserable fucker. The pint determines your life. Crazy. He had to smile. Sweet metaphor for a song, though.
“What’s with the band?”
“You know, didn’t we wanna form a band a couple months ago?”
“So let’s do it.”
This time we need to be serious.
“I’ve got an idea for a song already. It’s called ‘The Pint determines your Life’.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It’s art. It can mean whatever you want. You have to find the meaning within you.”
“I wanna play bass.”
“The beauty of art, man. It’s open to interpretation, you know.”
“Yeah. But we can’t just have a two man band.”
“The White Stripes is a two man band.”
“It’s a man and a woman.”
“So it’s not a two man band.”
I won’t argue. I am the guy at the bridge.
“So we’re going?”
“Dublin, stupid. We’ll do it, right?”
“Sure. Well, guess I’ll have to talk to my girl first.”
They took another sip and listened to the music. Pretty melancholic, he thought. This time we need to be serious about the band.
“We’ll need some place to practice.”
“And a name.”
Good point. You can’t have a band without a name, how ridiculous is that? A name is important, once you have a name everything else will fall into place. Something original, he thought. Be creative.
He started to feel a little dizzy.
“Maybe we can even play some gigs in Dublin, how cool would that be?”
“We could just rent a van and play wherever we want. London, Paris, Rome.”
“We should do it.”
The musicians had stopped playing by now.
“Let’s look for a flight to Dublin some time.”
He looked at his pint. Almost empty.
— Marius Städler