Friday, December 25, 2009

A Fine Gesture

He was a strange man. Socially awkward defined, with hops on his breath. Usually sitting alone at the end of the bar. Conveniently positioned in the closest seat to the taps that brought him the best and the worst of what this life had to offer.

Always watching as they poured so smooth and with such ease. Bubbles racing to the top only to be stopped by the foam that garnished his dinner, pint after pint, night after night.

We didn't speak much. Just a nod or a glance here and there, recognizing that we both were "locals". Usually just exchanging pleasantries, our few conversations consisted of agreements on politics, sports and the drink.

I, being only a mere patron of the house that he helped build. What did I expect? He was the CEO. He had a job to do. Whether helping with the keg changes, volunteering answers on video trivia or guarding the back door from pesky under agers, something always kept his nights busy.

He was a celebrity in his own right. His pictures adorn the walls and have for years. I had even heard that he was a genius, obviously eccentric, definitely stubborn.

And like a sitcom, he was welcomed by the audience night after night, but on the last episode when he entered stage left, he didn't utter a catchphrase. He simply raised his arm to the sky, fingers extended and palm turned in and asked for his final tab.

In Memory of
"Gesture" Steve Johnson