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The Bartender

By Sophie Amado

Perhaps it was the monotony of pulling a keg tap (watching beer flow like Niagara while droplets landed on once-dried clothes, clothes that were subsequently sticky and rancid-smelling, stewed with sweat the rest of the night); or perhaps it was the wastefulness of throwing out plastic twelve and sixteen-ounce rimmed cups for cheap beer and vodka sodas or crisp whiskey cokes served too late on Friday night; or maybe it was the repetition of preparing Jameson neat, Jameson on the rocks, whiskey gingers, Vegas bombs, vodka Red Bulls, vodka tonics, or gin and tonics; or perhaps it was the way regulars thought everyone should know them by name, their entitled selves greeted the bar staff with a familiarity they had not yet earned (her name out of their mouth); or perhaps it was hearing Mariah Carrey’s “All I want for Christmas is You” from November through February, over and over and over and over, on the jukebox; or perhaps it was cutting her finger while slicing lemons, or how some customers placed crinkled dollar bills on the bar and asked her to take what she needed for the Coors tallboy they wouldn’t remember drinking and wouldn’t remember tipping on that makes tending bar an absurd, irritating, and lucrative profession, that has been passed down from generation to generation.

A proud Chicago native and past Fulbright Scholar, Sophie Amado graduated with her MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago, with her BA in English/Spanish from the University of Iowa, and writes content professionally and creatively in her spare time.

Photo provided by Sophie Amado.


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