"You look worn out," the bartender said to me as I crushed the leather of my usual bar stool.
"Well," I answered "it is three in the morning."
He attended to Whiskey, my year-and-a-half-old golden retriever who was already curled at the foot of my stool. He parabolaed around the bar and lay a small wooden bowl of ice-water by her head. In a second or two he was back behind the bar.
He slid over a bowl of salted Spanish peanuts which I pushed aside with my usual demurral, "A pound in every nut," I said. And then he asked, "Pike's?"
"What else?" I answered.
In just a few moments he pulled me a Pike's, the ALE that won for YALE, and placed a juice-glass of the amber nectar in front on me. I drank immediately, long. And the moment after my glass had settled back onto the mahogany, he scooped it up and refilled me.
I drank again, long and full, like a hungry man in a soup kitchen.
"I'll try again," he said. "You look worn out."
"I'll keep this macro," I answered. "It's my employer."
"Careful," he said, "you're supposed to be keeping this macro."
"Right. Macro. I'm tired of capital treating me like a capital resource, not like labor. I am merely a machine to be optimized with the least amount of capital expenditure as possible."
"You sound a little Red this evening."
"Marx may be out of favor," I pushed back, "but he was no slouch."
"Perverted by Stalin, Lenin, Mao, and the Kim family I suppose, not to mention Fidel. But I agree, no slouch. I'll take him over Milton Friedman any day."
"There's no thanks, no gratitude, to quid pro quo. No recompense. You're supposed to be glad you haven't been outsourced. The rich are getting. The top 1% have seen 95% of the income gains since 2009. The top 1/10th of 1% have seen 60% of those gains."
"Stay macro," he said. He took my glass and dipped it in soapy water, then rinsed it, then wiped it clean. He filled me again with another Pike's.
"Class warfare has ended," he muttered. "The rich have won."
I pushed to twenties at him across the bar to him.
He looked at me, deep into my eyes. He picked up the bills, then placed them down onto the bar and smoothed them flat. He pushed the bills back my way.
"Keep your capital," he said. "You labored for it."