What You Have To Do Is, Be the Better Man

Persistence is a virtue revered by those who practice it – for manifestation only comes to those who work for it. Talking about manifestation is futile – what we need to concentrate on is that only through the perseverance of our good intentions will we achieve what we desire.

This one time, I had become real keen on this Irish bar out on 2:00. It was a Sunday night and after the temple burned I began to perform my ritual of bringing a backpack full of booze, beers, cigarettes, warm gifts and the like out on the town to spread some good cheer and go bar hopping amongst the last refuges of debauchery. I made course for the Esplanade and decided to check in with the Irish for a quick strong drink before bringing my saucer eyes out to the Hookahdome to dance it off. My dumb ass had been making a bad habit of requesting liquor without a cup so that the bartender would just pour it down my mouth. This big rough Irish of a bad ass mother fucker told me to lay on the bar so that he can pour Tequila down my throat. I hopped on up and down it goes – wild and oozing. After a few seconds I’m about to throw up, I gurgle whatever I can get down, spit up the rest and turn my head as the last drops of cactus poison soak the side of my face and the bar. I actually hate Tequila.

Shamrock City
Shamrock City

I get up off the bar, shake it off and sit back down on the stool. He proceeds to call me a lousy fuck who just wasted good alcohol and made a real mess of his bar. He then exclaims in that loose and cruel Irish tongue, “Get tay fuck out mah bar or I’ll have to have my way wit ya – wee cunt can’t hold his fuckin’ liquor.”

I apologize in a daze, he takes his stout arms and tosses me off the stool onto the floor. “Get tay fuck out ta bar, you no longer get served here.”

I leave, tail between my legs, but I still go dance and make friends at the Hookahdome. I walk my friend home and decide it would not hurt to come back in hope of redemption. I approach the friendly lady bartender and ask for the vodka-cran on hand, presenting a cup. She gladly pours but then I make eye contact with our friend Michael. Yeah, him. He hurries over and tells her to stop. “This fuck disrespected our bar, he’s not welcome here.”

Her face turns to anger, I grab what has been poured of the drink and scurry back off in defeat a few blocks down the way thinking hard how to fight off the shame and regret looming over my favorite night on the playa. Back at my camp nearby, I grab a small green blanket, quite warm and cozy. I walk back to the bar for the third time in the evening/morning and go straight up to Michael and apologize for my bad behavior. In the name of peace, I offer the green blanket upon the bar, a lighter, some cigarettes, I beg for forgiveness, “This is my favorite bar and it would mean everything to me, to spend my last night here with you wonderful people.”

Shamrock City 5
Michael takes the blanket and tells me, “For the last fuckin’ time man, get tay fuck out – ya don’t get served here!”

I walk outside broken, on the verge of tears. Do I walk back to my tent, pouty and defeated? Kicked out of the best fucking bar in Nevada: a long lounge, a piano, live DJs, endless beer, booze from unexpected places and the unmatched camaraderie. No! You don’t! You don’t give up! You persevere God Damnit! You want to achieve what you desire? Look at what is right in front of you – I ask a friend.

Right outside the bar door, I meet some friendly faces and tell them the whole story. They are shocked, “never heard of someone getting kicked out of a bar on the Playa.” “Wow, that’s fucked up man.” So, what should I do? Give up or try again? I feel like I’ve done everything I could. Then this rough, voluptuous Irish girl by the name of Catherine (my mother’s name) comes into the light and looks me in the eye, beginning to speak gently and forthright, “Are you talking aboot Michael?”

“Yeah, the tough guy.”

“Well, you’ll never win with him. He is drunk and has made up his mind.”

“So what do I do Catherine?”

“What you have to do is, be the better man.”

The great light from within then washed over me and suddenly I knew what I had to do… I had to be the better man.

The Bar is a disaster. People all fucked off, passed out everywhere. M.O.O.P scattered in all directions – beer cans, butts and rubbish. I clean the bar like the mexican maid deep inside my sangre. Gather and crush all the cans, sweep, organize, decorate using cool things left behind. I approach the DJ and utilize the Dust-Off can, all the equipment comes clean. I give up the love, offer up some of my own beverages, dance and smoke out the homeboys. Basically, I create my own party. I clean up all the crap off the bar and wipe it up as best I can. I go about sweeping, greeting and the work does not go unnoticed. My friend goes over to Michael and I can see him pleading my case, “Look, he is the only person in the whole joint actually working, doing something useful, making things better, ya know?”

Michael and I make eye contact. He shakes his head with a grimace, marking my victory. He grabs a cold beer and walks over to me on the other side of the bar with my garbage pile. “Hey you, stop working.”

He hands me the cold Dos Equis XX, “I see what you’re doing, and you don’t have tay do it anymore.” He laughs, “You just don’t give up do ya?”

“Look man, I love your bar and all I want to do is stay here and drink with my favorite people.”

“The bar is yours, I know you’re a good lad – drink everything you want, in fact – do everything you want, welcome to Shamrock City.”

Shamrock City 1
I stayed all morning, dancing like a butterfly. The naked dreadlocked DJ had brought out these crates of NY 90s deep house and some latin and disco. I was loving it. We started talking and when he needed a break, I jumped up on the turntables and started throwing down these beautiful mixes way tighter than his, “Just keep handing me records.” It went on for hours, I got a crowd and everything. All the way until the sun comes high up on monday morning and the rangers stop by and scream, “Hey! No more music fuckers!”

“One more track!” they all shout.

So, it drops.

I shut it down, everyone clears out and continues the work, the place looks great. Just Michael and I are left now, the last men standing. He digs around the cooler and finds one last beer. He gives it over and shakes my hand, “Good work.”

“Aye, good work indeed.”

One Response to “What You Have To Do Is, Be the Better Man”
  1. steven mentor

    This is an epic story. And I”m irish, so that part rings true. I read this because of the phrase “be the better man” and I’m glad I did!


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