Karma Heard Me

Several weeks ago I returned a one hundred dollar bill to a guy who’d given it to me by mistake when he tipped me for his vodka tonic. I reflected on whether it’d ever come back to me, financially or otherwise. Karma, come hither! I pleaded. Last night, one of my regulars renewed my faith in the work I do and executing it with integrity, honesty, and passion. The guy is a true class act. He appreciates a well-crafted cocktail, tips exceedingly well, and in all respects exemplifies how to politely and efficiently order drinks from a busy bartender. After buying me two shots of Fernet and giving me free rein to experiment with the El Silencio Mescal we had on hand as I made his drinks, he asked me to settle his tab. In the middle of the Friday night rush, I closed it, gave it to him, and thanked him profusely. Seconds later, I grabbed the check presenter and looked at the receipt. There was a dash through the tip line, on a ninety five dollar tab. No tip! Had I said something to offend him? As I pounded out drinks behind the bar, I could not stop wondering what I’d done wrong. Then, several minutes later, he emerged from the sea of drunk people. He squeezed in amongst them and handed me a bill. I looked at it. A Benjamin. I tried to refuse it, out of humility, modesty. He insisted, and put the note in my hand. “Thank you, so much,” I said to him. He smiled, and walked away. Karma must’ve heard me calling.

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