I see you coming, and I already know you want a weak drink. You might protest otherwise, but your soft grin and ample gut mark you as one of the Last Men, who make everything small, and seek only to earn a living and keep warm. How can such a creature stomach anything stronger than light beer, or a glass of orange juice with the tiniest drop of vodka?

Most shifts I find myself desiring nothing more than the sweet bliss of annihilation.

Please refrain from singing. The true Übermensch, capable of downing shot after shot until the bottle is empty, never succumbs to the awful urge to bellow along with the jukebox (that despiser of the ears) playing Boston’s “More Than A Feeling.” Such men, paragons of Hellenistic stoicism, are few and far between in a place such as this.

Management denies my own requests to play Wagner on the sound system.

As your bartender and unwilling enabler, I feel compelled to inform you that neither this establishment’s cheerful “party” lighting, nor even its Jalapeño Popper Madness special ($4.99 on Fridays), will prevent the fundamental cruelties—strife, lust, deceit, old age, and death—from encroaching upon your person. You want another drink? Your apathy cannot handle another drink. You have no Eris, no jealousy or hatred or envy to drive you to further heights of activity. In place of struggle and the joy of victory, I suggest you order the Double Whammy Burger with fries. The kitchen says we are out of jalapeño poppers. Such is life.

Rarely is personal degeneration or damage unaccompanied by some gain on the other side. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. Put down the iPhone. Checking Facebook will not imbue you with inner steel. Have another drink. I will pour you something strong now, to arouse your sleeping righteousness. You must face yourself! That woman over there could be amenable to your bloodless yet mildly amusing jokes. The flames of your ambition may not burn brightly enough to inflict a wound upon society, or ennoble you to humanity, but at least you can demonstrate you have a little bit of game.