The Gross, Bloody Anchor Analogy

It was a Saturday afternoon, and I only planned on stopping by Marlin’s Inn for a brief visit.  It was my mother’s birthday, and I was taking her out for dinner to celebrate in the evening.  Didn’t want to get too tipsy, or even tip a little bit, so I didn’t even start at all.

Then why go to a bar on a Saturday afternoon?  What else am I supposed to do?  Or maybe I should have answered, “to visit my friends.”

Aiden, it’s beginning to seem to me that you spend an awful amount of time at that establishment.  Because it’s close to your home is no excuse.  Mom, always looking out for my best interests.  And what does Ashleigh think about all this?  She can’t approve of her future husband’s visits to a bar on a Saturday afternoon.

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that I’ve yet to mention recent events to her.  Like the fact Ashleigh and I are broken up.  And the fact that Ashleigh is already engaged to another guy… our old high school teacher, as a matter of fact.  That’s a lot of facts for her to factor in.

Dare even I mention the pregnancy scare I went through, albeit alone?  Dumb me thought Ashleigh was, well, and it was, well, maybe mine.

In truth, that’s why I went to Marlin’s Inn.  That’s why I wanted to drink.  And good ol’ Mom was why I wouldn’t.

But because I didn’t, Santiago did.

None of the other guys were up there.  The bartender we knew and loved and feared was watching golf, leaning against the counter.  The daylight spilled inside as I entered, and exited quicker than I ever could.

I nodded as I approached Santiago, and he readied a beer.  “A cola, please.”  It was as much an order as a plea.

So from the fountain he readied me another glass, low on ice.  He kept the beer for himself.  I wanted to ask him if he was supposed to do that, but as I’ve already hinted… it’s kind of scary to ask him things like that.

How do you do it? he asked softly, as if he was standing on the golf course televised behind him.

I wasn’t sure what he was asking exactly, so I took a sip of my soda to by me more time.  Maybe he’d add more to the question…

When someone submerges their anchor into your soul, how can you allow them to leave without taking a bleeding chunk of still-beating heart?  He slammed the full mug he held in hand, and immediately filled it again. 

How could you release that chain, and permit it to permeate your lungs, your ribcage, your muscle, and your sinew?  How can you survive with a gaping hole in your chest cavity, dripping all that remains of you, all of your remains, onto the once already stained linoleum floor?  Bleach only cleans so much.

Ms. Kat Barkley That’s who he had to be talking about.  In the time it took me to ponder an explanation, Santiago pounded another mug of social lubrication.

It was then Santiago made his request: She cannot leave me again.  Will you watch the bar tonight?

For some reason, I replied, “Yes.”  It probably had something to do with the blood and guts analogy he described, or because he was so eloquent and heartfelt, it freaked me out.  Either way, it wasn’t like I hadn’t watched the Inn before, however short a period of time.

I pulled out my cell phone, and hit redial.

Mom,” I started in that questioning tone…

Santiago dropped the keys on the counter in front of me and pointed.  It will be better if you stand back there.

…I continued into the phone, “Do you mind if we adjust our plans?”