Security Camera by Patrick Ronan

Winner of Thunderdome 2018-2019: Day 3. See the prompt here.

A place to be. There is a woman from the Southwest kicking her heels at the bar; a young man in a sleeveless hoodie, finding as many occasions as possible to casually place his toned arms in such and such position as to catch the light just right; a boy with a patchy neckbeard; “what you see before you die is”; a toilet struggling to flush; a curly haired, black-rimmed glasses kid talking to a Jainist vegan who is explaining to him the extreme pacifist ideology behind Jainism and, to his glazey-eyed nods, how some of the more serious Jainists back in the day would wear masks lacking mouth holes in order to prevent the accidental swallowing of tiny bugs, and how no, the only masks she wears are for facial cleansing, but yes, she does practice her own form of extreme pacifism; a bald man in a black beret; a woman who looks like Adam Driver; strands of hair falling like pine needles onto the wet bar floor; “It was the YouTube algorithm that ruined my relationship with my liberal girlfriend”; jowled men at each corner trying to talk themselves out of buying that girl right there a drink; women fearing frostbite passing margaritas from left to right; elbows and butts and raincoats on pool tables stacked like sober jenga towers; “Christ on a tow truck!”; the desire to be liked nipping at the flesh under jaws; puffy jacketed freshmen turning back for their friend with the bad fake; a tired bartender whose son needs to be picked up from hockey practice; several doughy stomachs; the car crash of conversations something to close your eyes to. And me, a little black bump in the ceiling like a polished mole, always watching.