He's here again. I know him for a long time and I never thought that he would be drinking this much... Does he even remember his father? The resemblance between the two is sometimes scaring me. Or maybe I'm just imagining things... Either way, I wish I could just tell him no. To not serve him any drinks. But it's my job and I do not really have much saying in here, and on top of everything, the last thing I want is him to be angry with me. I've seen him lose his temper. It's never pretty.
˝Hey, Jack. The same?¨ I ask, forcing a smile to come on my face. Be friendly. Be polite. Smile.
˝Like always.˝ He replies coldly.
I can see that working in that preparatory school is killing him. And how wouldn't it? It's not an easy thing to worth with kids, even with older ones. One needs patience for that. Something that he definitely lacks. However, I try to not let my thoughts get too dark. Instead, I pour him some whiskey and hope that he won't stay long in here again. Is he even aware how close he is to getting fired from his job? Even tonight he is here, like he doesn't have any classes to teach tomorrow morning.
Just a matter of time until he gets fired, I'm sure of it.
Everyone already knows about his drinking problem and how it's getting worse and worse. This is a small town in Vermont, and everybody knows everyone. A God forsaken town in Vermont.
˝You know, maybe you shouldn't drink this much...˝ Sometimes I act way too foolish. This was one of those times when I had to keep my mouth shut, but didn't. However, it seems that today he's in quite a good mood, and as soon as I pass him his drink, a smile appears on his face and he pretends like I didn't say a word.
Or at least I think so, until he downs his drink in one go and speaks up.
˝You know, my mother gave me some rum to drink when I was a kid. She probably thought it would help me fall asleep before my father came home to beat the hell out of her, but it never really did. And you know why? It's all about how much you drink. Now I'm older and wiser, and I sleep like a baby.˝ He motions to me to pour him another drink, and I do it. I'm in no mood for arguing with him.
˝And how's your writing going? I heard you're doing a play or some sort... Kinda hard to know what you're doing when you're cooped up in your home...˝ I feel as if each and every subject I bring up are a mistake. Even now, when I tried to sound friendly and interested in what he was doing, I felt as if I had said something wrong, something that might trigger him into breaking a few glasses and bottles again.
˝It's going alright. And I need peace and quiet for writing.˝
Short reply. That was never a good thing.
˝Yeah, well, you know... Just don't let the silence and all drive you insane, you know...?˝ I say with a nervous chuckle as I pour him his drink.
˝All people that were geniuses were not quite right in the head.˝ Well, that was definitely not the answer I was expecting. ˝If you're slightly crazy, you can use that to your own advantage. However, if you're completely out of your mind and trying to strive as a writer, most likely you won't get it past the first sentence.˝
Maybe if someone else had said it, I would've agreed with it. But coming from him, I had to be suspicious. I was always suspicious when it came to his ideas and his point of view. And it was mostly all because of drinking. I have no doubt that maybe if he hadn't had such a bad childhood and if he himself hadn't fallen into alcoholism, that maybe he would be a nice person to talk to.
˝Do you know any famous people with the name Jack?˝
For a moment I'm distracted with him pushing his again empty glass towards me, gesturing to fill him another one. Once I did that, albeit reluctantly, I tried to think of anyone. Not sure if it was because of his presence, or simply because it was quite late already, but nothing was coming to my mind. ˝I don't know... Well, apart from Jack the Ripper, but I guess that's not the kind of famous you're looking for...˝ I say quietly, assuming that it might be a good thing that I don't know any famous Jacks. It would make him happier, the idea of being the only one famous with that name in the future.
˝Indeed. Not the kind of famous I'm looking for. I won't be famous for murdering people. Christ, nothing like that.˝ He downs half of his drink this time, and I can see that the alcohol is already affecting him.
I waited for him to say something afterwards, but he never did. He just kept on sitting there, drumming his fingers against the flat surface in front of him. After maybe his sixth or seventh drink, he left.
And God, did I feel relief once he was gone.
Whatever he was doing, I simply feared him. Whether he was chopping wood with an ax before winter, or locked up at his flat, the echo of the typewriter ruining that silence and peace that he constantly said he needed, I feared him. To think that that woman Wendy actually likes him makes me sick. I want to tell her to run away, that such a man is not good enough for her and that it can all end up in tears and maybe even death, but I don't dare to say anything. After all, I'm just a bartender. It's not my job to interfere into people's lives. My job is to pour drinks and lead friendly chit-chats. Nothing more.
Although I wish I could find enough strength in me to do something, because I have a feeling that nothing will end well...
Something deep in my gut was telling me that Jack Torrance was not going to be famous by his books... At least not in the end.
a/n: this was written in a haste, so i hope that there aren't many spelling mistakes or anything alike. and i hope that it wasn't completely obvious from the very start that this was jack torrance the story was about. maybe i left too many clues in there, i don't know. anyway, thanks for reading :D <3