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Bartender #1 Final .pdf



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Adventure Factory
Vancouver
Adventure Factory
1596 E 1st Ave
Vancouver, BC V5n 1a5 Canada
Editor: Karen Farmer
Design: Spencer Powell
Cover Art: Amy Betts
Promotional Works: Allison Johnson
Set in Crimson by Adam Harrington at ADHDesign
Published by Axel Matfin
The Bartender: Darkness on the edge of town is copyright © 2012 Adventure Factory.
All contents copyright © Axel Matfin. All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce for
reviews and notices must be obtained from the publisher.
Adventure Factory may be reached at : factoryfloor@venturefactory.net
First Adventure Factory Edition: November 2012.
ISBN 978-0-9881355-0-5

Cody
For taking the first book out of the trash.
Heather
For reading the second book.
Tony
For teaching me how to accept the dark.

Adventure Factory
Presents

The Bartender:
Darkness on the Edge of Town

By Axel Matfin

Chapter 01
S

ee, I’m a professional. I do a job. ‘Lotta people make it out to be
more than it is. Like somehow it’s more glamorous than anything
else that anyone does for a living. But I’ll tell you something. Every
job? Is just another job. And every single time it’s more or less the
exact same. I get in, I do the work, I get paid and I leave. ‘Course
it’s never that simple, is it? There’s always something going on
that you don’t see. Regardless of your pay-grade, if you’ve got any
sense of perception? If you focus your attention long enough?
You’ll see it all. Inside muddled moments and conversations.
Where everyone knocks back a few. That’s when the truth comes
out. Eventually, everyone will know the truth, but few are about
to testify to it. Just politics, they’ll say. When politics start taking
over the job, that’s when it’s time to leave. Because that’s how a
professional works. For the job, on their own terms. In spite of
what the people in charge think is right. I choose my work real
careful and I don’t like surprises.
Some days the job feels like it’s going to kill you. After twelve
hours on your feet, you’re left with a brain that you can’t shut off. A
programmed repetition of the body and mind, based on hundreds
of scenarios, is what keeps you alive. Fielding over two thousand

DARKNESS ON THE EDGE OF TOWN

social interactions a night, every single one of them a different
calculation of the human condition. And if you’re like most of us?
You might just be half drunk. Nature of the game. In this world,
and make no mistake it is another world, we deal with some
real salty people. Sure, they’re just like everyone else. Yet doing
what I do, you will know them. You will see them and you will
be able to distill much more from their words than they will ever
understand. You know who they’re fucking, when they’re fucking,
what they drink. Married? Divorced? Do they have kids? Where
do they work? Who do they know? Most of them are professionals in their own right when it comes to drinking. Some of them
are kindergarteners, rookies, and will eat right out of your hand.
Others require a master’s touch to unlock their secrets. That’s just
part of what I do. Once you know someone, you will see their lies
and, more importantly, their truths. You will learn secrets about
people that they didn’t even know they had. A web of connections
that goes beyond your own comprehension will start to emerge.
You meet a new person and it can break down the walls of
ambiguity that may have surrounded an entire social group. In
this biz your sphere grows exponentially, and as it does you will
start to see the other players. You’d be stupid to think that some
of them aren’t just as smart as you. Just as cunning. Just as aware.
If you’re playing the game, a social chess match, you will come up
against some real slimy fucks. You will be confused a few times.
Eventually these guys will get the better of you. Which way is
right. Which way is wrong. You won’t be able to tell. It’s not a
gang war, ‘least not technically. Sometimes it’s rough if you sign
up for a long haul with the wrong crew. It’s just a job you say to
yourself. Man’s gotta eat.
The next thing you know, you’re swallowin’ your values like a
handful of pills and watching TV all day just to forget your hangover and hide from the rest of the world. You forget what it is, what
the job really is. It’s a lotta those mind games and clusterfucks,
{9}


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