A Drink On My Behalf
I had a dream last night. It was about me walking into a bar or a pub or whatever. Broad daylight outside but I broke through the door where a surreal twilight beset itself upon me and left the day in stark contrast behind. The place, on the inside, was so massive I could hardly see the walls at its end, and it was packed full of people who, moments before my arrival, were probably having a wonderfully loud time. But the second I came in there was an abrupt halt to the merriment like the sound of busy silverware coming to rest on a plate. There was a haunting stillness in the dim establishment and its entire occupancy was focused on me. Even the bartender threw daggers from his pupils in my direction, and when I looked above him - above the bar - I saw a banner that read “A Party for Every Person You’ve Ever Wronged”. And that’s exactly what I had walked into. A party for anyone I’d ever wronged in any way, ever. It took me but a moment to realize the bar was filled wall to wall with every single person I’d ever met in my life. My parents and family and best friends both past and present stood at the front of the crowd, the women I’ve used stood just behind them. At the bar were the females I’ve ever truly loved, an army of empty shot glasses spent in front of their weary forms. Even the people I thought I’d forgotten. People I’ve only talked to in passing.
Every person. Ever.
A small boy, nine years old, worked his way towards me. He gently pushed my parents aside and came up to me and handed me a double of whiskey which I drank compliantly. I gave the glass back to the kid and our eyes locked, his full of disgust and sadness and mine full of terror. The boy was me, and as I began to open my mouth to apologize to every conceivable person, nine year old Me turned my body around at the hips and sent me back out the way I’d come in, and he slowly shook his head as he did so.
I was thrown back into the sadistic light of day and when I woke up I wondered what it must be like to do so knowing, every morning, that a single person has ever truly been in love with you regardless of your shortcomings.