Will make spirited potions for a cigarette break.

It’s almost Halloween and I haven’t written about anything since June? If you predicted, either nothing has happened or a lot has happened, you’d be right on both accounts. Lets get into to the high and low points.

July was for surviving without Josh while he traveled with the Local Honeys on their month long Mid-West tour. Thinking that I’d have tons of free time and would need the distraction from his absence, I relented to some peer pressure and agreed to tend bar for our friends at Romero’s Restaurant.

I’ve never bartended before. In fact I am primarily a beer drinker. I had taken the job under the false pretense maybe one night a week, they would get “busy”. Other wise it was fine dining in a small town that couldn’t afford it. Easy Peasy.

What no one told me going into it, was that an article in the Herald Leader would come out and excited horror movie fans and hungry rich customers would flock from surrounding states and reservations would be taken for weeks out and we would have to turn people away at the door.

So, imagine, dear reader, my amateur self, sole bartender, 1-2 waiters, and an entire restaurant of first-timers looking for that great first impression.

What I loved:
Potion making. I love the process of smoking glasses with rosemary, and shaking bitters, and pouring a perfect ounce without measuring. I love when I can do it fast. I love efficiency, I love garnishing, and I love experimenting with customers. I love the bar being mine. I love catching things on fire. I love the idea of bar flair.

What I did not love:
Small talk. Being a untrained therapist. Arguing about Flat Earth. Getting a 1 star review by walk-outs who waited too long for their beer, and told the world I was too busy talking to my pals. [Pals? You mean the customers at the 8-top who waited 30 minutes for their smoked old fashioneds because they knew it was worth the wait, and proceeded to close out their night with a bill over $1000? Those pals? Thank you, don’t come again.]

I did survive the bartending but ultimately, I don’t want a full time, clock in/clock out job. Some nights I made $40, and some nights I made $250. And remember, Josh was gone, so when one dog had a hot spot from fleas, I had to squeeze a 30 minute drive to the vet between one job and another, and when the other dog had an abscess burst on their ankle, I had to drive to an emergency vet at 2 in the morning. And when I hit a cat with my car, and ripped the bottom skid plate off, I had to get on my hands and knees and zip tie that shit up so that I could drive to work.

Also, add the normal woes of restaurant work: not getting a bathroom break, smoking break, resting break, feeling as though we really need more employees but who can afford that? Meh, working in a restaurant is not for me. Now talk to me about a mobile bar, where I decide when I open and close, and I decide what’s on the menu, and how much it cost, and what witchy herbs I can put in your drink to boost your immune system, or relaxation, or libido? That I can consider.

Josh came home in early August, to me with a Sinead O’Conner buzz cut. I confided in him how much I did not want to continue bartending. He said he was interested in learning, so I trained him and slowly transitioned into a hiatus.

August was still mostly work, but towards the end, Josh played with Senora Childers. It was really fun to see Senora, however, I got to do this really weird & wild thing that ended up being really anti-climactic.

Senora had a baby last year. So while Senora played this gig, her baby was with Tyler at Silas House’s house. So between sound check and the show, Senora invited the band and me to his house. The drummer, Hayden Miles of Wayne Graham, is engaged so it was basically the band downstairs talking set lists, and me with Silas House & his husband, Tyler Childers & his son, and Jessica (fiance to Hayden and old coworker from Appalshop, the organization that let me go due to mismanaged “budgetary reasons.”)

My first thought was, Oh nice, I might actually get to talk to this NYT best selling author. He might ask about me. What’s the least that can happen? Silas says, what do you do? and I say, I’m a writer. And he says, I’m so sorry, hahaha. And I nod, and laugh.

Nope. Silas House did not care about me. He’s wearing a Sinead O’Conner shirt when he introduces himself, and I tell him we met a few months ago (forgivable). He doesn’t even notice I have Sinead O’Conner’s hair cut (no one in the room did) and the conversation was eclipsed by Jessica’s upcoming wedding (again, forgivable, people love talking about weddings, but come on, no one asks me about how I was a wedding photographer for a decade.)

Here’s where I am conflicted. I’m intimately acquainted with the woes of introverting and extroverting. I’ve read how sometimes people talk just to prevent others from talking. It’s introversion because it prevents high “input”. For example, it takes less energy to talk than it does to absorb information and figure out what to do with it. So, a new person must be weighed as worth getting to know, or not–worth the energy of new data to organize and consider.

So, I’m in this Silas’ living room. I’m criss-cross applesauce on the carpet. I’ve definitely known Senora longer than Jessica has, and I’m pretty sure longer than Silas has, and here is her baby just bouncing between all of us. Is it just me or would you, reader, never, ever, let someone in your home, and not ask anything about them? Is this the difference between Corbin, Kentucky and Stanton, Kentucky? And! do writers not have to stick together?

This was also post-“All My Love” music video. So maybe, it was big time for Silas & Tyler. I’m trying not to think about the obvious explanation: that in a house of Gay Coal Miners and LGBTQ rights, and Violent Histories, that they just don’t care about the wife of a hired gun, because what could she (non-published novelist, non-musician, non-getting-married) possibly offer them?

Bah! I don’t know, reader. Maybe, it was a fluke, or a planet in retrograde. Maybe I overthink to my detriment, and maybe I love a good round of gaslighting before I can enjoy myself.

September, started off with a week at the horse park under employment of a local radio station. That was fine. The most beautiful thing, was that it gave me a solid end date at the bar–a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. I could return to my work with BarBar, and finish my novel, and return to my screenplay. I even thought I could finally make use of my Go-Wild Pass with Frontier Airlines. Fly anywhere, only pay taxes. I had three weeks to shop airports. Alas, I could not make it work. Spent the rest of the month catching up with everything I couldn’t get to when I was working 60 hours a week. (That’s $400 for my Go-Wild pass and $400 for Josh’s Go-Wild pass, practically thrown into the wind. It still hurts.)

Maybe next year.

October has been a whirlwind already. Josh bought a Netflix approved camera and a car within two days. Josh helped Tony Moore, Three Sheets to the Wind, and fellow musician Laidback Country Picker film a Halloween music video. He came back to me sick, but I insisted on hearing the details. Apparently he, and I quote, “channeled [my] energy the whole time.” He was a manager, coordinator, coffin builder, and lighting designer. I can’t stress this enough, reader. He was a time keeper. (!!!!) I’m so proud.

We went to see King Coal the following weekend: would highly recommend. Not because it’s perfect, but because it’s interesting, very pretty, very poetic and I think it was worth the money, and the drive. Coal Country told in the form of a mythology? Yes, Please.

Unfortunately, we came home to an empty bag of raisins on the floor and were left only to assume one of the dogs had consumed it. Both dogs went to an emergency vet, and we spent thousands of dollars only to find out one dog probably didn’t eat any raisins, and one dog can eat all the raisins and appear to be unaffected.

In fact that whole week was f*cked. I hit a dog with my car [what a cruel universe we can live in sometimes], destroyed the front of my car [would rather have the life of the dog back than complain about the car, it’ll be fine], and argued about my pet-peeve of people self-diagnosing autism in a Mexican restaurant and got so upset, I cried and walked out. [That’s not even mentioning the war crimes being vividly documented in Israel.]

When the week ended in a Friday the 13th, I sort of wrote off the whole week as a cosmic force greater than my self.

This week is turning out better though. Our friends moved from 2 hours away, to just an hour away. We got to drink wine and bourbon in their new house. I read a set of palms for the first time in probably years, did not make a fool of myself. And! BarBar is compiling its second anthology. Tomorrow is my birthday, and in true full-time part-timer fashion, I will work most of it.

By the end of tomorrow, I can run for president. I’ve learned in the past few years to lower my expectations for birthdays, however. Last year, I lost my job at Appalshop. This year, I just hope I’ll get to hang out with Robert Gipe and the Local Honeys this weekend, and come Halloween, I’ll get to see the Renaissance Festival in Ohio. If I can just stop coughing, and sniffling, and maybe force myself to go to the doctor. [That reminds me, we have to reapply for medicaid, cause despite all my jobs, I still can’t afford American Healthcare.]

Take care, watch for deer/watch for dogs. Throw all the raisins/Burn them. Don’t be like me. Quit all the side jobs and just stick to one. I hope it’s running for president.


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