End's Inn

in fiction •  8 months ago

Frank, was boring. All the way through. No fun-ness escaped any piece of him. Frankly, it was atrocious to behold. So…boring. He stared here or there. Mostly just for the sake of a dull stare that caught nothing, that gave no attention about. Certainly not freely. No, he didn’t understand about attention. Plainly, he could use the lesson. Sadly, or maybe more ironically, he never paid any attention when someone tried to teach it!

Right now, Frank kept his attention to himself. Yup, he had himself buried, up to his ears, he was immersed in thoughts of the past. They heralded his waning attention, his presence disappeared. Vanished, just gone. Then, bam!, here was Frank, shell-man. Staring off at the nothings of lost time -or passed time. Either way, the damn time was over there, and beyond his grasp. Except, of course from his attention.

We all knew his tale. Even before he shared it. It was one of regrets, worries, lost things. Those are the tales that fill the eyes of the attention-keepers. No need to pass that message, no. Really. The poor man, he certainly thought he was, Frank that is, waved for another round. A bar-top for the lost. This was, after all, Ends’ Inn. I slung him another.

That was a thing about serving at Ends’ Inn, you saw the lowest of people in town. Forget your confessioner, your penance receivers, your therapeutic nuclides, nah they all fell to the dust, of the Barkeeper. It was on the ends of empty mugs, and fringes of drop-less glasses. That was were the real bits fell out of someone. That was when they forgot.

It’s all okay.

Spark, now, he was a fellow. Blow the whole room up with excitement. Fill it up, right and quick. No dallying there, though his sort of attention could weigh on the over-bearing side. He was good fun though, good fun. He filled another piece of Ends’ Inn with laughter, he was a laugher. Through and through. That was his purpose. To laugh, make others laugh, Spark had made it that way long ago. Maybe he didn’t know about it, maybe it had happened without his attention.

Really, though, he needed folk around for his attentions to swirl and whorl into fruition. Alone, when none joined in his excitement, it quaked. I’d even go as far as to say it shivered.

That was my job, speculation, or observation, or….something -that- and pouring drinks to the top. I could go on and on, stories of a hundred men and women. The tales that filled their lives, and eyes. The story they had over their vision, their thoughts. Told a hundred times, a hundred ways.

Funny thing, it all ends the same -or close enough to it.

I poured a drink of my own. Stiff, tall, some would call it a right prick of a drink. All bite. Too many stories, of the broken, damned, the worn. Could one man hold them all? In a natural way? The glass fell back to the bar-top, songs of ice clashing poured out of the cup, a cold, bitter song. No drink left to catch its resonation. Poor bastards. Another drink, same stiff, tall, dastardly drink that assaulted my taste buds. Felt good otherwise though. Once the tasting was down and done.

The night was approaching, the end of it. Where it remembers the sun is coming up soon and changes days. Ends’ Inn careened off into the night, Barkeep at its head, his head full of sorrows, for those around him, for Frank, and Spark, and really, himself.

That’s a hard thing, I thought. To see yourself. Go look, the mirror is just a mirage. Like looking far off into the desert. It’s an image from another place, another thing. It’s not the person. It’s a representation, no. The person is what sees, feels, moves. It’s the decision of where and how to see, to feel, to move. Don’t forget.

If you find you’re lost, lost on other’s attentions, or your own. There is always Ends’ Inn. Here at Ends’ Inn, a drink is always ready to fill, to wash or hide your feelings. They’re yours anyhow, do what you will. Me, I’ll have another drink. The empty glass hit the bar-top again.

There were stories to hold, and they are heavy. Ends’ Inn awaits. Frank gave a wave, and I was off. Partitioner of forgetting.

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