517 - Watch Your Step


"Watch where you steppin', motherfucker," says the enormous bouncer in front of you.

Taking in the size of the man, you decide it's best to take the confrontational nature of his statement in stride. The alcohol in your system decides the contrary and vetoes your decision.

"The fuck you say to me?" you squeak as hard as you can.

"I said watch where you steppin'," he repeats. "There's a big step. You gonna trip if you ain't careful."

Looking down, you see a large step up from the sidewalk to the doorway serving as the entrance of Mark's Tavern and Laundromat. You step up and nod at the doorman; it's the best gesture of thanks your can manage in your embarrassed state.

Looking down as you traverse the gap, the bouncer does not witness your silent yet heartfelt apology. Instead he shakes his head at your feet as he shoots a meaty hand toward your belly, stopping you in your tracks.

"You ain't goin' nowhere with them shoes, my dude," he declares almost apologetically.

Again, you remain silent.

"What the hell, dude?" whine the last four shots of bourbon running through your veins. "How much you gonna hassle me?"

The bouncer shoots you a puzzled glance and points at your shoes. You look down and notice both of them are untied.

You correct your footwear oversight and this time nod quickly before looking away in what is no longer embarrassment but outright shame. Without looking back at the bouncer, you start to make your way into the bar.

Before you get three steps into the door, powerful hands spin you around and lift you up into the air.

"Better come up out yo' pockets," orders the furious face of the bartender.

Alcohol decides to sit this one out. "Look man," you beg, almost in tears, "take whatever you want. Just don't kill me, please!"

"The fuck?" asks the bouncer. "I don't know what you playin' at, dude, but cover is five dollars. You can't pay, you don't come in."

You reach into your pocket and drop a sweaty wad of ones into the doorman's hand. Your business with the hulking centurion of the tavern concluded, you make your way inside and drink until you forget you're an idiot.