You Can't Tell Me You Love Me Enough

Coach and BB

What I do," said Coach lifting his beer, "is I aim for the center hole in the bottom of the urinal. As long as I’m on target, I’m okay." The Happy Hour men at The Paradise Lounge were discussing their personal, individual sobriety tests, how they determined if they were too drunk to drive home.

"Sometimes his aim ain’t so good," said Coach’s wife, BB, who was the new bartender. "Like most men, when he misses, he misses low," she said.

The other men at the bar laughed. One of the regulars, Pete, ordered a Royal Flush split three ways. BB poured the two liquors and juice into a chrome shaker, lined up three glasses, tilted the shaker over the glasses and waved it like a wand, pouring equal portions. She set a glass before Pete and Coach and held the third one up for a toast.

"Here’s to love and crash landings-and to guys who can find the mark." Again the men laughed. In the year since she’d begun bartending, business had more than doubled.

"Damn, you’re something, BB," Pete said to her. "Where does she come up with that stuff?" he said, looking at Coach. "If I could find me a woman like that, I’d give my ole lady the house, my truck, and my best hunting dog." The other men laughed. Pete lifted his glass, nodded to BB, and together they threw back their drinks.

Coach slid off the barstool, leaving the glass, reached back for his beer, then slowly walked over to the jukebox. He stood with his back to everything. He pressed the arrow button on the jukebox and looked at the shadow of his own reflection in the glass. The CD selections folded open like pages. He heard BB’s voice, followed by another round of laughter.

"Play that slow Vince Gill song, would you, baby?" she called to him.

Coach found the selection and fed a dollar into the machine, then pressed the buttons for the song. BB was telling a joke.

"…and then the cop says, 'Okay, we’ll help you find your car, mister, but you got to put that thing back in your pants’, and the guy looks down and screams, 'They stole my girl, too!’"

Coach turned. BB tossed back the drink that he’d left on the bar as the men watched.