The scene: It is later in the afternoon on a Saturday in summer. Alan sits on a stool hunched at the dark end of the bar back near the hallway to the bathrooms. His face is bathed in the blue glow of the iPhone screen into which he stares. The bar room is busy but he does not notice. Only his fingers move across the little screen. An nearly empty pint glass sits by his right hand.
ALAN: Sure, Curator. Same again. Large glass, please.
BARTENDER: (pours beer sets down pint glass two thirds filled) Remind me why do you call me that?
ALAN: (looking up) You don’t really care, do you?
BARTENDER: Not really. Just makes you sound a bit weird and pompous.
ALAN: (face in screen again) Better me than you, brother… (mumbles to himself as he thumb types) Sandwich tongs! Yes! That’s it. (makes little snorting sound.)
Alan sits up, stretches and drains half his two-thirds of a pint of something strong and brown and Belgian.
ALAN: Was Max in today?
BARTENDER: (pausing to think for a second) Nope. Not that I can recall.
ALAN: (draining half remaining half of his two-thirds of a pint, digging for his wallet) Who’s playing tonight?
BARTENDER: Against El Glorioso?
BARTENDER: No idea.
ALAN: You, you are a beautiful man… (stands up, drains his glass) Catch you later!