“Pour me another, chief,” he mumbled.
Slumping over the counter, dawn inched towards day, cold beer warming in his worked-in hands.
“I think you’ve had enough for tonight, boss,” replied the bartender.
The man let his tired neck give way to the mounting weight of a hazy head. In another life, he would’ve felt like punching someone.
But now, after life’s cruel surprises over the past decade, the man only nodded, barely, and remained sitting silently. He stayed until close, when finally he left without too much of a fuss from the bartender.