"Really, your name is Sutaih?"
He turned on his bar stool and just looked at me. Slowly. Tapped his glass on the bar. The bartender added a another two fingers.
"What do you do anyway?"
"Well, if you don't count sleep, not much." he said, tossing it back. "But you're the stranger in this town. You should be the one talking," signaling the barkeep again.
"I get tired of being the stranger," I start to tear up a cocktail napkin into the smallest possible pieces.
"But you are much more interesting as a result. Despite what folks think, most people's lives aren't all that interesting. Think of all the horrible, horrible diaries out there. God help us if they were all available to all of us over the tellie or something," he laughed, taking a handful of nuts from the bar bowl. "When you're a stranger then we get to make up stories about you that are far better than the real thing."
"And your story about me is?"
"Ah," he looks me over, "your story is this. You've made many mistakes in life, fixed most, struggle with some still. Think you've missed the boat. Wish for forgiveness. Wish for happiness. You wonder where years went so damn fast. Forgiveness is a gift, not a purchase; you haven't figured out how to accept this gift from yourself. As for happiness, when you stop trying to catch clouds, you'll figure it out. "
"That describes me pretty well," I say.
"That describes everyone pretty well," he says, laying down a five.
"Time to go."