I was in one of those slightly paranoid moods that are so common in Colorado as of late. I walked into Animas Brewing, gave the hostess my first name, and stood in the entryway as the wife went to the lady’s room. I looked around the room. It was packed. There’s a certain something special that emanates from the locals around here, and everyone present was emanating this certain something like crazy. Most had pale mountain town skin. They were fit. They smiled and reveled in their functional clothing. It looked as if everybody was prepared for an impromptu camping trip. My eyes traveled the distance of the bar. I inhaled the smells of roasting meet and pungent beer. I looked out the windows. I couldn’t see the river, but I knew it looked like flowing cold cocoa, and it sounded like wet white noise. The trees on the bank and the lawn around the bar were lush and verdant. Post cards pale in comparison. I brought my attention back inside, and that’s when I noticed the sign.

I’m a bit hesitant to let others know how awesome Animas Brewing is because it’s always so damn busy and I’d hate to wait any longer thanks to the publicity, but I’ll risk it; I’ll sacrifice my avarice for the sake of Animas Brewing. The place is just fucking rad, plain and simple. They have a sign (it’s really more of a chalkboard) on the wall that says “buy a friend a beer.” You can pay in advance for a beer, put your name and someone else’s on the board in the “for/from” section, and then when they come in, they get surprised with a free beer (so long as they show up within two weeks). How cool is that? Anyway, when I looked at the sign, sure as shit, I noticed my name in the “for” section. I got a bit nervous… you know, because of my mood. I looked around slyly with suspicious eyes to make sure I wasn’t being fucked with. It’s a very real possibility. Nobody was looking at me, so I looked back at the sign. Somebody named Buck had purchased the beer, and they did so the day before. I have a good friend named Buck, but he lives in Aztec which is about an hour south. My brain started crunching the odds. What are the chances that somebody named Buck would buy a beer for someone else named Jesse Anderson? My mental computations told me that it was one in seventeen thousand three hundred and fourteen. I’m not sure where that number came from, but it sounded trustworthy.

Chances were, that beer was for me, and chances were, it was from my friend Buck. So I sent him a text. “Hey, did you buy me a beer at Animas Brewing?” He responded. “IPA. Enjoy my friend. Namaste mother fucker. Collective conscious.” You see, he threw that last part in there because it was mind blowing to think that a friend of mine, who lives an hour away, would stop by a restaurant randomly and buy me a beer the day before I too showed up randomly at the same restaurant. That chalkboard obviously had some sort of mystical power. I don’t usually drink, but after I sat down, I ordered my IPA and drank it down like a champ. And now, there was an empty slot on the chalk board. I held in my hand immense power. Should I test the sign’s power and buy a beer for Arnold Schwarzenegger to see if it’d make him show up magically the next day? Should I take the humorous route and buy a beer for “all my dead homies” from “Caitlyn Jenner?” I should’ve shat or gotten off the pot because while I pondered the possibilities, someone else stole my slot on the board and bought a beer for a friend. Oh well.

Since that night, I’ve been trying to figure out a way to repay my friend Jon Buck. It came to me tonight. In return for the IPA which fell into my gullet like manna from above, I shall grant him immortality. I’ll write about his gesture of awesomeness and I’ll post it to my blog. I’ll include this blog in my third book and his name shall be heralded through the ages as the name of a great man who once did a great thing (or a few hundred people will read this and then think “meh”). After all, it’s the least I could do for a friend. Thanks Jon.

Animas Brewing

4 thoughts on “Durangan Manna

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