I’m sitting at a table near the door, which I regret now because it is c-c-c-cold outside, and whenever someone comes in the door doesn’t close all the way. There is a waitress and a bartender; she is stretched pretty thin, so when he has a chance he comes around the bar with fistfuls of beers and spreads the joy.
He is not a tall man, but he is a big man. He has neatly trimmed grey hair and wire glasses. His black trousers are held up by suspenders. He wears a leather apron that only just avoids being comical strapped onto the front of his bulk. I was sitting, staring into space, thinking about what to write next when he asked me if I wanted another beer. He had a great voice, smooth and low without being deep, soft but resonant. I accepted his offer and he set a beer in front of me.
This is one of those places where there is a piece of paper on your table and as you add to the tab they put hashmarks on the paper. A gloriously simple system, but one that prevents all sorts of misunderstandings, as well as fraud (there are places here notorious for adding items to your bill). The bartender produced a pen from his pocket, clicked it twice rapidly without looking, made a mark on my tab, then, checking the pen to make sure it was still deployed, put it back in his pocket.