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Alan Black

Notes From A Dive Bar - Going Down

Alan Black | Posted 09.08.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

The dumpster diver surfaces. His hand clasps a small golden harp. He's no angel. His wings fly as high as a kite. I'm hurtin', man, he says. Can you g...

It's Just Like the Stock Market! - Notes From a Dive Bar

Alan Black | Posted 07.11.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

Tonight's bartending is like the stock market. From the opening bell, I'm bullish on cheery bonhomie. Financials are rewarded, the tip jar stuffed wi...

The Will - Notes From a Dive Bar

Alan Black | Posted 06.09.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

A bar napkin, a touch soggy. I leave all my regrets, guilt and anger to this napkin Legally binding A signature, the date, lipstick sealed. An in...

Notes From a Dive Bar - High There!

Alan Black | Posted 04.28.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

The rocket fuel of weed and whisky. A plastered man says, You know, if they smoked a joint in the lunar module when they first landed on the moon, it ...

Notes From a Dive Bar -- The Lonely Whisky

Alan Black | Posted 04.19.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

For a while, I've been noticing this shot of whisky abandoned on the bar. A napkin covers the rim, a message printed upon it. Call me! Then, a number...

Notes From a Dive Bar -- The Sporting Life

Alan Black | Posted 04.11.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

His brother came up from Texas wearing a Cowboys uniform to take care of Bill's business. He ordered a beer on the same seat his brother sat upon. And we watched old football video waiting for the quarterback to throw a Hail Mary.

Blackout Is Over

Alan Black | Posted 04.08.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

Hare Krishna. Hare Krishna. Hare Krishna. My hands in prayer mode, shouting Hare Krishna. Peace. Peace. A flying punch whistles past my nose. The smaller combatant hits the floor rocked by the fist of fury.

Notes From a Dive Bar -- New Year's Eve

Alan Black | Posted 01.01.2017 | San Francisco
Alan Black

It's the most wonderful time of the year. No it isn't. Not for bartenders cleaning up the sprays of joviality.

Notes From a Dive Bar: Ulysses Walks Into a Bar

Alan Black | Posted 12.14.2015 | San Francisco
Alan Black

Ulysses walks into a bar, sort of... Talk. Talk. Talk. Sticky mouths moving, shapes and shapeless lips, tongues tremble, then later some kissing and ...

Notes From a Dive Bar L -- Anti-Social Media

Alan Black | Posted 12.07.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

'Do you think the Facebook guy will give me any money?' asks Cat, fishing for quarters in her bid to purchase a full share in a can of Tecate.

Notes From a Dive Bar XLIX -- Disappear

Alan Black | Posted 11.28.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

Scott, they never found him. Trays of French cakes and souffles were overturned at the restaurant he worked in, but no Scott. They came looking for hi...

Friday Night: Notes From a Dive Bar XXXXVIII

Alan Black | Posted 11.21.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

There really is no fun on drugs, says Martin. I shrivel. He installs solar panels and enjoys New Age ambient music. Early evening, he has failed to ...

Notes From a Dive Bar XXXXVII - The Body of the Bar

Alan Black | Posted 11.18.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

Tony Bennett left his heart in San Francisco. George left his liver.

Notes From a Dive Bar XXXXVI - STOP!

Alan Black | Posted 11.07.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

John escapes from the rehab nuthouse. Vanishes down the lane, straight to the bar stool. They thought I'd be a prisoner, he says. I hand him a Tecate....

Notes From a Dive Bar XXXXV - Trumped

Alan Black | Posted 11.03.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

On the box, Trump looks like he is having a good time ranting and raving. Talking about The Deal.

Notes From a Dive Bar XXXXIV - Nature Calls

Alan Black | Posted 11.04.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

A puddle forms on a bar stool. No hole in the roof, so it can't be rain. California is in a drought. It's not liquor or beer, neither soda nor tears. No chemical spill has been reported.

Notes From a Dive Bar XXXXIII -- Straight Bends

Alan Black | Posted 10.31.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

Bobby, on meds, says he can't think straight. Have you tried curved thinking, I say. What's that? Stand with your head at an angle when you think. It ...

Notes From a Dive Bar XXXXII - Going, Going, Gone...

Alan Black | Posted 10.27.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

Going, Going, Gone... #83 Wisdom is my forte, says Alex, an idiot. He dispenses opinions. Think of the poor mirror's feelings when you look in it, ...

Notes From a Dive Bar XXXXI - Thinks

Alan Black | Posted 10.26.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

He sweeps the bar. I wipe the tables. Then grab the padlocks, lock the doors and think, how did I end up here? We walk around the street market at 3 a.m., under the hum of lampposts, thinking about what to do next. We share a flask of whisky.

Notes From a Dive Bar XXXX - Scary Monsters and Super Creeps

Alan Black | Posted 10.21.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

Did I just see something slither to the shadow? Trip to the ice machine, all that is frozen in time like that cockroach, just kidding. I need to get my peripheral vision checked. I'm sure I just saw something flee to the darkness under the stairs.

Notes From a Dive Bar XXXIX - The Alones

Alan Black | Posted 10.18.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

All gone. Everyone. Just me now. Alone with the bar. My old friend. It's sad. The bar weeps. It cries out, why am I the place for the sads and the alones. For the wicked.

Notes From a Dive Bar XXXVIII -- To the Nut House

Alan Black | Posted 10.15.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

John is going away. To a rehab nuthouse -- his words. One year in exile with a bunch of drunks. Ordered by psychiatrists. The doors are locked night and day. But he's figured out a way to get supplies delivered.

Notes From a Dive Bar XXXVII -- Sticky Situations

Alan Black | Posted 10.12.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

A long trail follows curious Steven, long sheets of bad luck. He's been in many a sticky situation. He picked up a brown paper bag from the shade in the alley behind the dive. What's in here? he inquired. A used hypo-needle that pricked his finger, that's what.

Notes From a Dive Bar XXXVI: You're Not Getting Served

Alan Black | Posted 10.09.2015 | San Francisco
Alan Black

You're not getting served... You're a loser. Working in a bar, an old man working in a bar. What, you couldn't get a real job? I bet you don't even h...

Notes From a Dive Bar XXXV - I Have a Bad Feeling About This

Alan Black | Posted 10.04.2016 | San Francisco
Alan Black

I tell the doorman. I have a bad feeling about tonight. Soon, the twisted is spotted. His face barrels evil. This one with a mustache, most menacing.