Everybody was drunk. I sat in the corner, observing it all, laughing with my companion. Oh sure, we were drunk, too — 6 pints of Guinness will do that to you — but we weren’t making nearly the spectacle those in front of us were. Our faces were red and glistening, I could feel mine and see my friend’s, and we couldn’t sit still for more than a few seconds, but c’mon! There was no reason for any of this. These people were hardcore on the Tullamore that night; I could tell just by leaning over the bar and spotting the sad-looking empty up-turned whiskey bottes hangin’ on the wall. I tried not to do that very often, though — lean over the bar, that is. Because invariably Colin the bartender would beeline over to me and tell me good-naturedly to knock it off. He just didn’t want me to steal the matches. The matches with the pub’s name embossed on the front flap. O, how I loved those matches. I know I’d need some kind of reminder of the place when I left — mere days away! — other than the packs Colin would throw at me every night, which would usually be used up by the end of the evening — my friend liked to light all the matches at once, watching the quickly rising then quickly fading flame with sheer insane amusement.But anyway. I knew they’d given me a pub shirt the last time but I wanted more matches. Fuck fuck’s sake!, he said. Stop hangin over the bar, or no more Guinness for you. O no! I thought. We couldn’t have that. So I backed off and continued to watch the Tullamore players, enraptured in their own devillish amusement.
Good night tonight eh? my friend screamed into my ear. Somehow her words were complementary to the music emanating from that far corner over there. Yeah, that one over there. I almost could hear her words as lyrics amongst the violin, accordian, guitar, flute. I agreed. This place wasn’t usually this packed on a Sunday night — I think it was raining out. Or perhaps the Weekly Session had finally gained the reputation it deserved! I could feel the intensity of the musicians growing as they fed off the energy of the dancing fools, who in turn fed off the musical notes and colors flyin about the room, practically visible. I smiled, ordered another Guinness. Colin smirked coyly, and while my drink was settling from froth to black told me that he might not let me drive home tonight. Ha! I said. I am on foot tonight, my dear dear. No more cars for me. As he was leaving my friend punched me in the shoulder. Look! Somewhere in the center of the room a couple had hijacked the dance floor. Everyone formed a circle around them and laughed and clapped in time to the music, even if the couple couldn’t really dance in time to it. That’s a lesson for you! I bellowed over to my friend, who was quickly halfway through her 7th pint. Stick to the Guinness! No kidding! she replied. No Tullamore for me — I wouldn’t want to be that drunk!