It's him again. The actor guy.
Well, half of everyone in this bar is an actor, or wishes he was, or is the friend of the friend of one who's looking for a night out on the town.
But this guy's a real actor, from some popular fantasy movie franchise. I don't follow that shit, and I can't remember his name. No one in here has one. I call 'em by their drinks. This guy, he's "Guinness, none of that fucking American pisswater."
Haughty Brits. But I give him his Guinness, as usual. We're always well-stocked with those UK beers -- maybe not all the English are fruits, but it seems like a disproportionate amount of them are, and half of California's England imports frequent this bar. Excuse me, pub.
Not that I'm complaining. Perk #1 of working at this WeHo queer emporium: no one even tries to pinch my ass.
Guinness Guy is a roamer. He pops by every couple of weeks, and picks up a new hot young thing every time. Tonight he snags one within moments of stepping through the door, but abruptly loses interest. Hot Young Thing shrugs and seeks out a friendlier lay. Guinness Guy retreats to the bar.
"Gimme another one."
I do. "Easy there, big guy. That ale's a bit heartier than your usual American pisswater."
He glowers at me, then downs his glass in one long chug. He fails to impress me with his manly attempt to get completely fucking smashed. If he keeps this up, he'll be under the table in twenty minutes, tops. I know the signs.
It's a busy night, I don't have time to waste asking this actor guy why he wants to be piss drunk. Movie Cliché #12 (the friendly, inquisitive, chatty barmaid) doesn't stand a chance on a swinging night in WeHo. A word to the wise: if, on a lonely, soul-searching evening at the bar, you have something profound and insightful to say -- for the love of God, don't tell it to the barkeep. We don't have time to listen to your drunken woes. And frankly, all men are the same once they're in their cups. Queer or ramrod straight, they all get to blubbering about the love of their life who left them for God-knows-what.
And actors are the worst. Overdramatic queens, all of 'em. Checking in on my Guinness Guy an hour later, he's nursing his fourth pint and crying like a baby. At least he's quiet. I can't stand the noisy drunks. Damn well impossible to get rid of, too, and I hate calling security on 'em. Poor schmucks. But Guinness Guy doesn't look to be any trouble, long as he lays off a little on the booze.
"Another one o' these," he slurs, shoving the glass across the bar.
I shake my head reprovingly, but the pint is already under the tap. "You've probably had enough."
"Just gimme the ale an' shove off, I'm a paying customer."
Polite little shit, ain't he? "Whatever. Here. This is your fifth pint, by the way. I'd take it slow."
He gives his beer a baleful look, then takes a gulp. I roll my eyes and turn away, but -- "It's not his fault, y'know."
"Not his fault. He has work. I understand." In spite of the thickest Mancunian accent I've ever heard -- and, yeah, I've encountered enough Brits by now to be able to make the distinction -- his voice is surprisingly clear, slur-free. But damned if I have any idea what he's talking about.
"Great. Glad to hear it." Someone shouts their order at me and I grab a few more glasses.
Guinness Guy is still mumbling into his drink. "He has work."
Yeah, well, so do I, buddy, I don't say.
Shockingly enough, he follows my advice, and his glass is only half empty thirty minutes later. The bar is still hopping, but hits one of those brief lulls, a minute or so of relative peace during which I can catch my breath a little. According to my trusty watch, it's a bit past one in the morning when the stool next to Guinness Guy is commandeered by another actor.
This kid I recognize. He's not a regular here, but his face is plastered across a hundred billboards and magazines. And I do live in L.A., after all -- I'm not completely oblivious to pop culture.
Elijah W-something. Wilde? Woods? Wood. Elijah Wood. Right. Damn, he's short.
"Screwdriver, please," he orders politely. "I don't care what vodka."
It's a kid's drink, and I'm half-tempted to ask for I.D., just to piss him off. But I don't. Hollywood Survival Tip #4: make nice with the big actors, or you can kiss your job goodbye. And this kid may be young, but he's pretty damn big right now. Stars in that big movie franchise that came out a few months ago, what was it called...?
Oh. Hey. I'd lay odds that he's the star of the same fantasy thing that Guinness Guy was in. Yeah, now that I look at 'em side-by-side... Hoo boy. That look he just gave him -- I'm on to you, Wood.
I give him his drink, but I doubt he notices. Hey there. Well, they don't call it a queer bar for nothing. I busy myself with rinsing out a few glasses, trying to politely ignore the two actors sucking face at my bar.
Guinness Guy is mumbling something, his forehead pressed up against Wood's. Wood's big blue eyes are examining every inch of his boyfriend's (?) face, but Guinness Guy is just studying his hands intently. "...have work," I can make out. "It's good."
So that's what he was muttering about earlier. Huh. Good to know. And I'm not eavesdropping, honest. It's just that the Brit is drunk and prob'ly doesn't realize how loudly he's talking.
Wood weaves his fingers gently through Guinness Guy's short, spiky hair, speaks too softly for me to catch anything.
"How did you find me?" Guinness Guy asks in a low rumble, still not meeting Wood's eyes.
"When don't I?" Wood whispers, and I have to look away. Ugh. There's too much...something in his eyes. Weird. Creepy. Aching. And what the hell do I think I'm doing, anyway, listening in on a private conversation?
I take someone else's order, mix the martini they want, but out of the corner of my eye I can still see the two actors. They're closer together now, somehow, hooked at the waists by an invisible string -- and, yeah, I'm pretty damn grateful that I can't see what Guinness Guy's hands are doing.
"Two tequi--" someone else starts.
"--going to disappear when you're not here," Guinness Guy's gravely voice drifts over the bar.
"Sorry, can you repeat that, please?" I ask the new customer, trying to ignore the dynamic duo -- who are only actually occupying one barstool, I realize in a distant sort of way. Must've missed that.
Two tequilas and a gin and tonic, coming right up. "I'm here. I love you," Wood murmurs. Get a room, I don't demand. I shoot them an irritated look, but they're completely oblivious.
I pass the tequilas over, then practically spill the gin and tonic. "Weigh me down, Elijah."
He's got to be fucking kidding me. Fucking actors. So goddamn melodramatic.
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