It was a cold night in the city and Stan sat at the bar. His best friends Bill and Steve shuffled in, as Stan sat in his stool turning towards them.
They looked around the bar and strolled up to the only empty chairs on either side Stan.
“Hey Standard--happy birthday.” Steve bellowed over the crowd.
Stan never knew where he came up with that nickname, Standard. He didn’t mind it though, it made him feel accepted.
“You ready for a good night?” asked Bill.
“Oh yeah, I’ll try to keep up with you guys.”
Stan was the youngest in their group, and now that he had turned twenty-one was no longer excluded from the bar scene where his friends would spend their evenings.
Bill and Steve took a seat on the black leather bar stools as the bartender approached.
“Alright I’m buying” said Steve, “Two rum and Cokes, and a glass of white wine for birthday boy—”
“A whiskey sour, please” interrupted Stan.
The Bartender turned and took two bottles off the middle shelf.
“So you’ve never been in here before, what do you think?” asked Bill.
“It’s pretty nice, I couldn’t picture you two hanging out in here” Replied Stan.
“Well when you live in Suburbia it’s nice to get out into the city and have a drink at a nice place like this once in a while” Steve commented.
The bartender returned with the three drinks. As Stan took a sip he glanced around the bar noticing all the men dressed in their business suits chatting in small groups.
The bar sat near the center of the business district. The wealthy side of town.
As Stan and Bill talked about work at the plant an older gentleman standing at the bar next to them barked something inaudible. The bartender turned to grasp a bottle on the top shelf.
The older man looked in Steve’s direction and they struck up a conversation. Steve was always meeting people, last month he discussed politics in the produce section with a stock boy for thirty minutes.
“Hi, how are you?” Asked Steve.
“Just fine,and yourself?” He asked.
“Steve Anderson” he replied sticking out his hand.
“Godfree Williams” He stated shaking vigorously.
Bill and Stan turned to join in the conversation as Godfree received his drink. He swirled the golden liquid around the glass before drinking.
“This is Stan, it’s his twenty-first birthday” Said Steve as he pointed.
“Congratulations” Said Godfree in a cheerful manner.
“So what do you do?” asked Steve
“I’m an executive at Grey Corp.” said Godfree
Grey Corp. was well known in the city; in fact it owned the plant that Bill and Stan worked at.
"And yourself?” asked Godfree.
“I’m in sales at the Ford dealership out in East Ranch.”
Godfree and Steve chatted as Stan and Bill turned to each other.
“He always does that” said Stan.
“What?” asked Bill.
“Meets random people like that.”
“Ya.” replied Bill.
The men talked, and every twenty minutes or so the bartender made an appearance methodically taking bottles from their shelves. The middle for Steve, Stan, and Bill. The top for Godfree.
Soon however Steve too was ordering from the top, but as the night wore on it didn’t last. As Godfree left he handed Steve one of his cards.
“He was a cool guy” Said Steve.
“Money bags Godfree” replied Stan sarcastically.
“I’d love to be an executive” Said Steve.
Bill laughed at the idea, although he knew Steve had the ability to fit in anywhere.
“He probably gets paid to do nothing” Said Stan.
“The perfect job” remarked Steve.
“Ya I guess it would be nice” Stan noted.
The night began to slip away and before they knew it two AM rang out. Last call.
“Well how do you feel Stan?” asked Bill.
“Drunk. It’s like I’m trying to stand but I’m not the one controlling my legs.”
As the three men staggered into the frosty morning air Stan looked up. The sky wasn’t quite black.