Tough week for me. Tough week for my Wonderful Friend. Hadn’t met up for drinks in a while, so we met an hour later than we’d planned because she was stuck in hours-long traffic out in God’s country, where she works. Like I said, a tough week for all.
We met in a neighborhood we sometimes frequent, but not usually after work. And somehow, we found just the spot to cure what separately ailed us–if just for a moment.
Think bare wood floors with no character. Think dark and scary as you look back toward the tiny bar. Think torn, black-padded bar stools with uneven metal legs scattered around scratched, plastic-topped tables. Think screeching grunge-gone-punk-gone-metal as the background music. Think how you and your Wonderful Friend, and a couple of hulking figures at the bar, are the sole patrons.
“Um, how long has that bottle of wine been open?” I asked, pointing to a dusty, half-full bottle on the back corner of the bar, but still smiling at the seemingly 10-year-old bartender with the wild hair that stuck out all over the place past his shoulders.
“What are you saying?” he fired back, paused, and then grinned. Good, he got it. “You want me to open a new bottle for you and your friend? I will, no problem. Just have to say so.”
And then he looked right at me, and not at my younger Wonderful Friend, and said the phrase that made the week seem less grim and this place seem like a dream come true:
“But first, I’ll have to see some ID.”