The Bar. It actually has a name but for this post it shall simply be known as The Bar. And the Bar has the most disparate clientele.
The Bar doesn’t have much in terms of decor. There are a couple of worn out pool tables, a couple of well used foosball tables, and lots of cheap bear and salty popcorn. The Bar is a dive bar. It is, however, located in a trendy and artsy neighbourhood. There are independent galleries and rooms where young artists show of their craft and young actors and comedians can do their shows and dream of making it big. This being a student town, the student population is everywhere. This is precisely the type of area where a homeless junkie will try to sell you a locally procured $1,000 fixie (the fixed gear bicycles being the current hipster affectation) for $10-$20. The area is awash in equal parts cheap beer, expensive wines, low-cost food and fancy restaurants, sluts, douchebags, idealistic pursuits, and broken dreams.
The bar has a certain ambiance though. The froshers and those new to the city won’t be found here. The clientele is usually devided between the students and the older regulars; the one trait that unites these folks is that they all have already learned to be dissapointed. Here, the doggedness of artistic, scholastic, and professional pursuits has been considerably dulled by the above-mentioned fare of cheap alcohol and salt from the popcorn.
As I sit at a corner table, the din of music and overlapping conversations drowning out my own anxieties, with the view of the passerby’s on their way to a fancy night out on the street and a mixed crowd of the young and the old, it is impossible not to wonder what brought them all to this place? This is not the only bar around and it is definitely not the nicest. There’s a football game on television but no one is paying attention. The old-timers are usually sitting solo and drinking quietly; the younger generation is always in groups. Tellingly, there are no couples on a date. All the folks here are either locals or those who got this city totally wired. They are not here for the gimmicky decor or sexy waitresses (although they definitely have the sexy “suicide girl” thing going). They are here for each other’s company. Even those sitting alone are here for the established status quo of the Bar. This is “Cheers” without the sycophancy.
In the end, we all want the same thing. We need to feel like we belong. The Bar is the type of place where everyone – regardless of their station in life – feels accepted. Even yours truly, who has been feeling so incredibly dejected and down this past month, can feel safe here.
Cheers. Sláinte. L’Chayim. Wàn shòu we jiãng. Nazdorov’ie. Santé.
May your life be plentiful and your enemies disappointed.
May your cup be full and your worries few.
And may you live the kind of life that will bring you peace of mind.