*Marcus wasn’t much to look at, especially where cruise ship bartenders are concerned. In fact, the first time I met him I think my inner monologue was something along the lines of “Gaaah! I didn’t see you there. How did you sneak so close to me, Stalky McRaperton!?”
But in spite of being a rather short, squat, balding and tattooed individual with a skeevey sort of air upon first blush, Marcus turned out to be an absolute creative genius…a savant even, when it came to two things: inventing drinks and bagging the ladies.
It wasn’t until I saw him in action for the first time that I realized how talented he truly is.
First, he primed his mark with a story:
“There was a guy I once knew,” he’d say, “who used to work at this little cafe in Spain.” Marcus went on to explain how this friend once fell in love with a beautiful Spanish waitress named Maria. Unfortunately, the man in the story was already married, and so their love could never be.
As he talked, he mixed the drink, careful not to divulge the ingredients until his listeners had fallen head over heels into the scene he was painting. They’d imagine the furtive glances, the wistful sighs, the accidental brush of hand against arm…
“And then, on his last night in Spain,” Marcus would say as he poured the colorful liquid into a glass, “they shared a single, final kiss.”
He’d slide the drink across the bar and look you directly in the eye. “Her hair smelled like Jasmine and her skin of Lavender soap. Her lipgloss was vanilla flavored.”
And when you took a drink, there they all were. The favors of jasmine, vanilla, lavender…they would rush across you at the exact same moment as the realization that Marcus was, in fact, the man in the story, that he’d longed for this mysterious Spanish beauty so much that he’d created a drink to help him remember the way she tasted, to keep her memory on his lips forever.
At that point, you’d start to see Marcus in a totally different light.
And then, when no one else was looking, he’d lean over to you and say, “That story has gotten me more p***y than you can possibly imagine.”
That was when the spell was broken. At least for me. But you can probably see why I still have a soft spot in my heart for Marcus, the Master of Martinis.
*Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent, but still awesome.