Paul Parillo I'm an Irregular Here

There’s an odd paradox that seems to hold sway over most establishments I’ve ventured to throughout the city. I’m speaking to the idea of being a “regular” in a bar – the kind of individual who can freely exist within the monotony of such an activity, simply by using muscle memory and a force of habit – it’s also something that might only be broken by death. I can’t help but feel saddened the moment I sit down and order a drink, because I always instantly feel a depressing lack of vitality from every other person in the bar.


The paradox lies in how an outsider can be granted the affirmation and acceptance into an illustrious bar crew as a regular. Unless the bar is one of notoriety, I seem to be shunned and treated so obviously differently than the regular attendees. I can certainly appreciate the staff’s camaraderie with those who, I’m sure, single-handedly pay the bills, but I hardly think it’s justification for outright neglect and borderline rudeness towards me. What if I wanted to become a regular? But now that you’ve forgotten to fill my glass (even after several times of clearly seeing it empty), I’m now less inclined to even stay for another, let alone many more for years to come.


Who wouldn’t want the comfort and safety of a second home? We all know the theme song to Cheers (whether you watch the show or not) – “Where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came. You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same. You wanna be where everybody knows, your name.” Nothing sounds more inviting and enjoyable – we all have so many issues on a day-to-day basis, so what could be a better solution? But what they don’t tell you is the solution should be more accurately accredited as dissolution and repression. Drinking doesn’t solve your problems, it prolongs them and they usually get worse because you’ll end up making decisions while you’re all sauced up to begin with.


Becoming a regular at a dingy bar isn’t one of my aspirations, but when I go somewhere for a pint (or twelve), I want to be treated like one. Do I not deserve some attention, simply for the fact that I’m giving money to your hole-in-the-wall establishment? And I suppose it also speaks to human nature on a very boring level – can’t you just smile, maybe once, maybe ask me how my day was (and mean it)? I’ve faked a smile or two in my lifetime, and I’ve also found it in my heart to add some genuineness to it at times – it’s really not that difficult. Who knows, maybe you’ll convince me to waste my life sitting at the bar waiting for my problems to resolve themselves.

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