It’s Friday night at my home bar, Roscoe’s:
The place is packed. I get the only empty stool, order an IPA, and perch backwards to scope out the situation. Two tables are nearly done. A couple stands nonchalantly, super-close to the first table, they win. I forfeit my precious seat to hover near the next best option.
Immediately, a guy snags my barstool. He wants to make sure he’s not stealing it, and I do my best from across the room to convey my intent: I’m not gonna budge until this table opens up, and he’s welcome to join me at that time. Over the next hour, several of my friends arrive. More the merrier, right?
His name is Michael. Late 40s, 5’9″ with glasses, a baseball cap, and nice teeth. He’s just been record shopping, and rode his bike to the bar in the rain. He’s kind of endearing, plus he offers me a job (more money than I’ve ever made), so I’m intrigued.
After a while, our gang migrates to the next bar down, Montavilla Station. That’s where Michael gets into a little tizzy with one of the regulars. I don’t see exactly, because I’m busy shooting pool, but have a strong hunch it has something to do with me. When Michael gets kicked out, we all leave.
Early the next morning, I start getting obsessive texts and calls from Michael. By 9am, I’m at work, watching them roll in like, WTF, who even calls people?! This guy is NUTS. Meanwhile, my Catlin Gabel doc promo has just been published on OregonLive, so I am super excited and not worried about responding to Michael, whatsoever.
Sunday, I return to Roscoe’s with one of my coworkers. Alex and I have been working various jobs together for several years. We also matched on one of the dating apps a while back, but I deleted all of that nonsense before we ever had a conversation. It never came up until this moment, when Alex and I decide to go out after work.
I score us a table along the windows, right by the door. Just as Alex is walking in, I spot Michael at the bar. Uh-oh, Michael sees me too. He gets up and starts coming over. I ever-so-slightly shake my head NO and much to my relief, Michael sits back down. I don’t bother mentioning anything to Alex about the crazy person behind him. But the whole time we talk, I have a perfect view of Michael, over his shoulder. Michael keeps looking at us, seething.
Soon, Michael gets up to leave. He pauses briefly at our table, and without a word, he tips over Alex’s beer. The glass shatters, spilling its contents all over him. Before Alex can say anything, Michael is gone.
“Please don’t engage with the crazy person. I kind of know him. Please don’t – ”
“You know him?” Alex jumps to his feet and follows Michael outside.
“Oh sorry, didn’t see you there,” says Michael.
“Bullshit. You smashed a glass all over me.”
Michael shoves Alex, Alex pushes him back. Michael trips and falls backwards. Alex comes back inside and gives me the instant recap.
“Weirdest first date ever.”
Soon, Michael is pounding on the window behind me, demanding for Alex to step outside.
Alex goes anyway. I look around. Everyone in the room is frozen, watching this unfold. I take a long slug from my beer and follow Alex outside, where he is absolutely pummeling Michael. Alex is 25 years old, a solid six feet. Michael didn’t have the sense to pick on someone his own size. Alex bonks Michael’s head on the cement, twice.
“STOP – you’re going to kill him!” I try to separate them.
Alex bends down to hiss in Michael’s ear, “You better stay away from her, or I will kill you.”
We go back inside. Alex has his beer replaced, and I get a new one. By now, Alex is kinda having fun with it, it’s not every day you get to beat someone’s ass!
In no time at all, Michael is coming back inside the bar, lunging for Alex. Alex jumps up, dumps his brand new beer on Michael and smashes his glass on his head. Both guys hit the floor. Some combination of patrons and staff break it up.
Alex goes to the bathroom to nurse his cut finger, while bloody Michael lurks outside. The bartender calls 911 and hands the phone to me.
“Do you know where the victim is?”
“He’s right here, taking care of his cut.”
“Do you know where the attacker is?”
“He’s standing outside the bar. He’s coming into the bar. He’s inside the bar! Now he’s assaulting the bartender.”
Emergency responders arrive on the scene. Police, firefighters, ambulance, the whole shebang. No one gets arrested. Michael doesn’t say a word to me, the entire time. Haven’t heard from him since.
Entertainment aside, please don’t mess with crazy people.