My name is Casey LaRoe, and I am writing this blog to recount what I'm certain will be my last days on this Earth. I'm not sugesting that I will be going away on a spaceship Heaven's Gate style, I just have this feeling that my days are numbered. Okay, maybe I should start at the begining.
I want to make it clear; scratch that, I want to make it abundantly clear. I did not kill the man. I’d never met him, I had no qualm with him, there was no reason for me to want him dead. I just want that on the record right up front. Okay.
“I think your bartender is dead.”
Those were the first words I said. I was having a smoke in the alley and I noticed the blood. There was a trickle of blood running from a stack of flattened boxes next to a huge silver walk-in cooler. It was mixing with dirty water and grease from the fry oil dumpster, but it was still unmistakably blood.
I followed the trickle and moved the boxes. Underneath them was the body of a twenty-something man. He was in good shape with muscles bulging out of his rolled up sleeves. He was all in black, shoes, slacks, shirt and undershirt with a black server’s apron tied around his waist. He was sturdy looking and healthy other than being, ya know, dead.
I tossed the boxes to the side and walked in the back door of the restaurant. It was a dark place. Purple walls with accents of charred wood paneling. I made my way through the long narrow corridor that the back door led into and ended up spilling out into the restaurant next to the entrance to the kitchen.
I moved through the tables seeing satisfied guests munching on heavy comfort food dishes with big chunks of meat and thick sauces. There were three servers making their rounds, greeting tables and putting orders into tiny computer stations. Everything seemed in order.
I took a seat at the bar with the intention of asking for the owner or manager on duty. There were two other patrons at the bar as well, enjoying a late lunch or early dinner. I looked around but saw no one taking responsibility for the station. In the corner of the bar back was a small receipt printer with maybe a half dozen short slips of paper dangling out of it like a battered white tongue.
After a few minutes of waiting I stood and made my way to the host stand. There was a pretty young brunette standing behind the desk entering details for a reservation into a computer while grilling the person on the phone for more and more information about their party.
A moment later she thanked the caller and hung up the phone. She looked at me with apologetic eyes and smiled sweetly.
“I’m so sorry for the wait, is it just one today?”
I must have looked confused.
“Are you looking for a table?” she asked.
“Oh, no,” I said. “No, I, uh. I think your bartender is dead.”
Then there were questions. Lots of questions. Questions from the management followed by questions from the law. Ultimately I didn't have much in the way of answers, but, I did have a question of my own.
"So, are you going to be needing a new bartender?" I asked the owner.
They looked at me with eyes almost buldging out of their heads.
"Well," the sexy Lithuanian manager said, "you can start now?"
So here I am. A bartender for the first time is twenty years. Slinging drinks in a little Indian joint a dozen train stops outside the city. It's not a bad gig and I wouldn't complain, but, I know the last guy in this position ended up in the alley with a bullet in his throat, so I have to wonder; how long do I have?
I guess we'll find out together.
I'll be around.
Signing off for tonight. Follow me on twitter for up to the minute details.