There’s a mess of men waiting down Queen Street. Saturday fight night celebrations. Bartenders scrambling between pitchers and dispensers and the screams of young ladies in the mode. The young waitresses snaking through fat bellies and high heels, drinks and food held high between the drunks and the tokers. The old men slapping each other’s backs and the young ones giving fist bumps or handshakes too complicated for their clothing.
I find the last stool left and hop up to the bar. The man behind the bar offer’s me a pint of Blue, drink of choice during cheap pint nights. I nod and look up to the screen. The Prelims are over. Two beat ugly chicks stand in the middle of the Octogon. Glad I missed that. To my left, a group of four of Niagara Falls finest common women chat up a storm with a giant plate of cheese drowned nachos before them, already half eaten. None of them particularly attractive, but cute enough, except for the obligatory fat friend with a string of melted marble hanging from the corner of her lips. Reminds me of bad porno.
The night could swing that way. Talking to what’s available, getting in to trouble with some psycho cunt like the last one I picked up from here. I could drink too much, lose sense, and go for what I can instead of what I want. Nodding to long, bitchy stories, hoping for a little pussy after taking their verbal beating. I could be the man at the end of the bar with the dog faced woman swinging her hands in anger at some slight long forgotten by the man hoping to sleep with her. I could be the stumbling man and the manjaw with spiked hair “female” slipping hands between legs in a booth, shot glasses scattered on the table. I could be the hipster puking in the bathroom, drink still in hand, alone holding his leaking pride.
I watch the fights instead. I drink a pint, I eat and I yell at the TV. Watching tough men with no killer instinct “fight”. The old man next to me agrees. We talk and laugh. We pick winners and end up right.
A tiny, strong-faced chick with a tad too much makeup, but an excellent body walks up directly between my senior friend and myself. High on the crowd or already drunk, she tries a smile at me. The old man, born years beyond the taint of modern femininity, offers up his food to the lucky lady. Her friend, a nerdy type, shy as a nun, grabs some as well. He offers his seat up. Another time, another way of manners.
Roy Nelson knocks out Chieck Kongo. Sonnen gets his ass beat. I order my last beer, the tiny chick basically laying in to me, drunk as fuck. No talking, just looks. She leeches off the old man while getting her attention from me. I slide out of my stool, making sure she feels my departure and go outside. I sit at the newly bought plastic patio chairs. The entertainment is about to begin.
It begins with a shouting match. A small group of guys close, but visibly on two sides. On the edges are the females of the pack, chatting fast, growing to screaming. In response, the rivals start to scream, barking like little dogs on the wrong side of a fence. The crowd grows. The bouncer shows up. I sip at my Blue, laughing. Someone swings, the women screech and yell in fear. Shocked faces from the others on the patio as the street fills up. The most exciting moment of their week is happening. The safety of their world is smashed for a few seconds as a war seems to descend on the corner. I smile at the nearest woman, “I love UFC nights.”
I go back inside to finish my last pint. “You’re back?” the bartender asks, since I paid my bill a while ago.
“I never left. I stay for the entertainment.” He laughs.
I sit again and beside me is the two girls from before. The whole of the old man’s food order before them. The tiny one is shitfaced, head on her arms, arms on the bar. The nerdy one is keeping her eye contact isolated. No one should look at her, her darting eyes say. I play with the change I have left in my hand. Enough for another drink for the ladies beside me, enough for a drink for me as well. I finish my beer and slide the glass to the edge and place the money beside it. Life is good. Life is getting much better. My gut tells me to pay it forward to the deserving and that would be the hard workers in front of me, not the parasites beside me.
I hop off the stool once again and tip my hat to the nerdy chick who quickly looks away. I smile, amused by everyone around me. This is how it works, I realize. This is how you should feel. Not neurotic. Not insecure. Not scared. Not fearful. Not worried about what you said or what you did to scare off a girl. Not caring that a fight is a foot away from you. Not caring about anything but your own relaxation and joy.
The common way to decribe this is feeling like a king. I’m no king. Kings are authority. I feel like an outlaw. As I’m breaking the rules of the world. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the smile on my face, the spring in my step and the steel blue looks I give to the ones I deem worthy of my time.