“What would you like sir?”
“Give me an Absolute.”
“Excellent choice sir. Also, I would like to ask you to pay upfront. We don’t want or need any tabs.”
“Sure thing”, the man said. He reached for his wallet in his jacket pocket and gave the money. Well kept hair, black leather jacket, black jeans and a black t-shirt underneath and a confident attitude. The perfect, though a bit clichéd attire for a bar.
The bartender walked away with the money and soon came back with the drink.
The man, still fidgeting with his wallet took the change and kept it back in the same pocket and turned around with his drink. He enjoyed the loud music, his head vibrating lightly.
In front of him was a huge crowd. People in dark clothes waving and flailing around under the green neon lights. All flushed under a singular identity.
One man caught his eye, while the bartender simply cleaned the glasses. This one man, no regard for social convention walked through the crowd and came towards them.
He was wearing brown cargo shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, a hat and was drinking from a coconut. Clichéd for a beach. Unexpected for a bar. He walked towards the sear and placed the coconut beside various glasses.
“Give me a drink,” the man said, in a voice too sad for the beach.
“One that mixes well with coconut water?”
“Strict adherence to the code still? Also, pay upfront is the new rule.”
“Yeah whatever”. The man pulled out a bill from his shirt pocket and handed it to the bartender.
The bartender took the cash and the coconut.
“You sound pretty sad for a man dressed for a beach”, the man in black clothes said.
“This isn’t the beach”.
“Well, you know, still!”
Awkward silence followed, both the men sitting beside each other, but not acknowledging.
The bartender came back with the coconut and change and kept it on the table. The man picked up the coconut and paid no heed to the change.
“Man, I’ll have to try that sometime”, the man in the black clothes said, pointing towards the coconut.
“Is it good?”
“Yeah”, the man, not even looking, continued on.
“Can I have a sip then?”
The man in beach clothes didn’t even look at him. He remained silent for a couple seconds, his face not giving anything away. “Get your own coconut”, he said and resumed drinking.
The man viewed him with shock while the bartender chuckled.
“You don’t change do you? Being the only invariant quantity in a continuously changing equation”, the bartender said.
The man, not even looking up, nodded in agreement.
“Like the constant in an equation of a line,” the man in black clothes exclaimed, cutting the bartender.
“Well what do you know, we have another live spirit in the soul sucking abyss”, the bartender exclaimed.
The man in black clothes let out a small laugh.
“So, how about that sip?”
The man in beach clothes looked at him, stared into his eyes, acknowledging his existence, and said, “No”.
The man then resumed drinking, while the bartender once again chuckled. The man in black couldn’t help but become shocked, again, before ordering another drink a couple seconds later.
The bartender handed him a strong beer.”Live spirit and brave. A strong beer after an Absolute. You stand up after this and I’ll name a drink after you”.
The man took a sip of his beer before turning to the other man.
“So, what do you mix with the coconut water?” he asked.
“I don’t know!”
The man in black was now slightly agitated. The bartender walked away.
“It’s his job to remember. I just drink”, he said.
The man in black simply nodded, impressed.
“What if he forgets?”
The man in beach clothes stopped drinking, perplexed at the question. He turned his stool and stared at the other man. He kept on staring. The man in black could not figure out the importance his question held.
“And that’s how you confuse a constant. Talk to him about change,” the bartender waltzed back in, breaking the silence.
The man in beach clothes, still uneasy, took a sip of his drink while the other man chugged his drink.
The man in black let out a little laugh. “Change?”
“Yes.” The other man replied.”His forgetting which drink to mix would mean a drastic change in the continuum and code and have unforeseeable consequences.”
“Like the butterfly effect?” The man in black said.
“Precisely the butterfly effect”, the bartender cheered in rapt excitement. Bravo my boy”.
“You see, if he forgets which drink, it would break the code set up until now. It’s the change in the code that would beget more change.
“But isn’t change supposed to be good? If he mixes a wrong drink, you may find a new taste.”
“If he mixes the wrong drink, I might end up with a bad headache,” the man answered.
“But it would be a new experience. You might just like it.”
“That’s the problem. I just might like it.”
The man in black was baffled whereas the bartender smiled, faintly.
“You see, change isn’t feared because we approve of how things are or were, it is feared for we may like how things might be.”
“But what’s there to fear than fear itself?”
“Change,” the reply, with unshackled confidence and faith.
The man in black smiled, before taking another sip. There was once again silence around them, but not awkward.
Do sound off in the comments below everyone! Did you like the story you read? And has such an incident ever taken place with any of you? And how does it feel to be in such a situation? Feel free to share any and all criticisms and thoughts.