Dance of the Bartenders

It’s a small circular bar counter, with less than eight feet between the beers spouts and espresso machine, either ends of the unclosed circle behind the bar.  The young man is the manager, the young woman a bartender.  The other man— short grey beard, big gut bulging the buttons on his shirt— owns the place.

The manager steps from his stool outside the counter into the small inclosure.  As the bartender returns from delivering sausage to a group of three, the manager side-steps to the back of the inclosure.  She tops off a foamy beer, but now he blocks the way to the kitchen!  She slides to the gap in the counter, and the manager, he steps forward.  The owner then joins the fray, pouring wine for a woman who has waited longer than he believes she should.  The dance continues: pouring, delivering, clearing, wiping and stowing glasses— stepping forward, sliding back— passing each other with a hand on the arm or the back.

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