Wednesday, December 28, 2005
What the wooden doors tell you, as they bow into the hinges not letting you out is, this is a place where they just don't care. "We have fifteen beers on tap," they will tell you. All but four have been dry for weeks. Yes, they have whiskey. Wild Turkey only. Maybe a bottle of Jack somewhere, but it's the last one so it only gets pulled out when certain cheap regulars arrive. These are old men drinking during the hours they can't, or won't, sleep. A room built on refusal. This is where I find myself now most nights.
There are certain things I don't want to see anymore. No more boys to men in suits too large and ties too long. No more young girls dressed like forty year-old women. Age has disappeared for the working class and become so non-existent that it only repels when it is actually seen. If you are too young, you must age yourself a bit. If you are too old, then you must try, and you will fail, to seem a few years younger. When you don't try to be something else it is obvious what you are. A boy. A old man. Those on the way out and those trying to get in, or at least fighting stay in. There are beautiful women in places like these. Those after work bars that cater to the newly minted City folk. These beautiful women have conversations. They talk. They speak to young men in loosened ties and short hair. A style of life found in globally scanned photographs of celebrities with vague meaning.
A bartender will know my name. The waitress, she'll hug me when I leave. After two beers, my third is always on the house. A girl over there, with her friends, or not friends but co-workers but they might as well be friends to her because, she's growing older and she just can't stay close to those she knew growing up. I have nothing to say but what I want to say, and it is too angry and bitter that I know I might as well shut up. So I do. I always do.
Have to stay tight to not seem insane. Have to not speak or else I will say what I want.
I was supposed to be satisfied by now. I am not supposed to be anxious anymore. The last person to ask why I wake and dress to get ready no matter the day didn't understand, I do it so I am always ready to go, because I am never doing what I wish I were.
So these old men tell me to get a wife. Meet girls, have a girlfriend at least. A one night stand. Anything but a whore, but a whore would be all right because at least it's something warm and human. "You need that. You need to know how a woman breathes. How she sleeps and pushes her arms against you when she's restless, getting comfortable. It keeps your mind healthy."
So for my health.
There are other things I want for my life that outwiegh love. It is greed, of course. A slim life of perfect movements. Of money and empty houses on islands I will only see in the summer months. Days spent creating, building, working, on that which makes me complete. At these other bars, the after work children, the youthful adults that hold a limp world on their shoulders, they have the materials that give them the appearance of having all I want. There are the products that only money can give, but they miss out in their faces. It is just not there, that greatness I would expect them to have. Only in the old men, the fathers and grandfathers do you find that hard work and focus bring a calmness that cannot be forced. It is built over years. A life time. Never ignore the aged, never throw them out, they are the noble floor and we are the pale wood. Broken tools.
Posted by cpj at 1:39 PM