It started off quiet, I wasn't planning on being behind the bar. A friend was over from London for a few scant weeks, and I'd suggested that we meet for cocktails. I'd dressed casual: my favourite pair of heels and tight jeans, a silk top with a pretty print. And the barman had acquiesced with my request of some kind of deal: two for one cocktails. It was going to be a good night. People started showing up, and it was brilliant. A pretty coloured drink here, a sweet concoction there. And then I realised I'd double booked myself, so I invited the second crew down to the bar. Sent a few txts out to my besties, if they were free they were more than welcome to come down. And to my surprise, they did. They trickled in, one by one, and before I knew it the bar was filled with my friends. Different crowds mingling, in small groups all about the bar.
So much so, that the one glorified bartender got busy super quick. So I did what I always do in a rush, and jumped in. Behind the bar in heels, not a great idea. I stumbled, my stiletto's getting stuck in the perfectly sized holes in the rubber mats. I was also ever so slightly intoxicated, having downed many pretty coloured drinks, but I'm fairly sure that only added to the experience.
It was such a high serving my friends. Hugging over the bar, in jokes and high fives and laughter. Cheers as someone else I recognised came in. I passed drinks out quick and fast, an extra shot there, beers with almost no head there . . .
I wasn't behind the bar long, and to be honest, the rest of the night passed in a bit of a blur. I spent a long time moving between groups, gossiping and catching up on the news. It was a pretty amazing feeling, to have a bar filled with your nearest and dearest. Everyone in a good mood, glasses full. It was good for me, good for the bar, good times forward ho.
The next morning provided a delightful headache, the kind that was demolished by a walk and a plateful of Eggs Benedict. Less easily demolished was my tab, which sang to the tune of $200 plus. Apparently I'd been overly generous, paying for drinks here and there. I don't regret it: I'd pay it off in full, with thanks. It was a brilliant, brilliant night, well worth any monetary costs.
I'm beginning to learn that each time behind the bar is going to be different. Whether I'm working for the night, or for half an hour. Whether I'm serving my friends, the band, the owners or strangers. The bar, the people in it, the nights that pass, they all contribute to the ever changing mood. Tonight was a good night. I hope the upcoming nights are just as grand.