Trust

The lounge was a cave-in: dark, no air, bad smells. The taps were formless blobs behind the bar. Some startled when a voice appeared to take their order.

Not Thom.

A regular, he knew what he wanted, where it would be placed, and had his cash arranged into bundles of drink plus tip. He understood how important the bartender’s happiness was. He could pour anything; it was only mutual respect that kept Thom from lifting a glass of gall.

(Written for Esquire’s 79-word challenge. Harder than I thought; I felt like Gordon Lish.)

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