I walk into the bar and with an hour to closing time. It is a grim and awful sight. Only a few people were in the bar. It was a small dive bar that was about the size of closet. Only one straight room that had a bar fully stocked liquor shelf with an old wood bar with ratty old stools The bartender looked annoyed that I wondered into the bar. There was one man sitting lonely at the bar me looks at me studying me. I sit down and order water.
"Really?" The bartender asks.
"Hold on. Give him a beer on my tab. He looks like death." The man at the bar says. "What's got you down?"
"Nothing," I said.
"Look, something put you in this seat. What's the harm in telling me."
"I would rather not." I tipped the bartender as he handled me my beer and water.
"How I tell you why I am here and if you feel like you want to share at the end of my story you will."
"Sounds like a deal."
"Okay, I was on top of the world. I have the greatest woman by my side and life was looking good. Then it happened…" He trialed out and drank a lot of his beer. "She cheated on me. Twice both when we were dating and I married her anyway. I thought nothing of it and I was quick to forgive and never dealt with my emotions. So then it really started to weigh on me and I crawled into a bottle to forget about what she did."
"Did that work?"
"I won't know. I'm still in the bottle. I have to go back to her tonight. I just can't touch her knowing what she did with someone else. So I come here to drink my sorrows dry. It was fine at the beginning of the marriage but now I just hold on to this ball on bitterness. How could she do that to me! She did not even know him that well! It killed me when she told me I threw up in an elevator and drank a lot of beers. Then she did it again! How could she!!! After she saw how much it hurt me she DID IT AGAIN!" The man starts crying and crying and crying. The tears mixed with his beer. "How?" he said in such a broken voice that I felt like I needed to hug him. He was such a sad man. "I live my life only thinking of once thing. Her having sex with the random man from the internet. That's all I see when we are together. Do you know how hard it is to get hard thinking of another man plowing your wife?" His tearful eyes looked at me with a harsh brokenness.
"That's because you stayed my friend," Said a very loud gentleman as he walked over from the bathroom. He was a tall man with tan dress pants on and loafers. A buttoned-up dress shirt tucked in with a popped collar and no tie. He wore a simple windbreaker on the outside. "Sorry I overheard the conversation from over there," he pointed to where he was standing. "Look do not listen to his sad sack. My wife cheating on me, gone, boom, done."
"and you don't miss her?" I asked.
"No! she is a dirty cheater. Once a cheater always a cheater. Boom. Bye-bye." He said.
"Just kick her to the curb? You did not feel any love for her?" The Sad-Sack asked.
"No! Good riddance! Look I'm awesome and you are crying about something that happened twenty years ago fatty."
"Well yeah, but despite that I could never kick Evelyn to the curb like that? She is still my wife."
"A wife that you hope to walk in on her banging the mailman so you can get out of the marriage scott-free, jackass."
"That's not true!"
"Face it, your life is wasted because you could not send her packing. You are a loser! Doomed to rot in a prison of your own design." He said chewing on peanuts and spitting out the shells. "Vin out. I got chicks to bang."
"Where is your wife, now?" the Sad-Sack asked.
"What do you mean I do not have a wife?"
"Your ex-wife where is she?"
"I…" Vin stumbled over his words and fidgeted in his shoes. "I don't know." Vin seemed to have enough of this and he left. I finished my beer and thanked the Sad-Sack as the beer really hit the spot and his simply act of kindness meant a lot to me. He nodded and collected his tears in his beer.
Two men with very different views on marriages and cheating; and I can honestly not tell you which one I think is right. They both made great points but I don't know. The Sad-Sack as Vin called him was named Ben. He cared for his wife deeply but was never able to get over the pain of the infidelity and it drove him to a lifetime of drinking and unhappiness. Vin reacted with not emotion or loyalty and just kicked his wife out. Two opposite ends of the spectrum. But one thing was sure they were both as the bar sadly drinking to forget. So can they really be that different?