Just got back from a trip down to the neighborhood convenience store.
There was a young couple there, twentysomethings, sitting in one of the booths, drinking sodas and talking cheerfully but aimlessly. Probably escaping the heat in their apartment, I thought. Hot, muggy night. Bet they don't have air conditioning.
Then I got to to reminiscing about what the blonde and I would do on summer nights like this when we were young apartment dwellers sweltering in our third floor walk-up. Slip down to the corner bar, I said to myself and thought nostalgically about Henry's Bar for a while.
Then I remembered.
We never did that.
I hated going to bars.
I actually love bars, the idea of them. I've always wanted to have a neighborhood bar to go to. A place where everybody knows my name, where they're always glad I came. Hey, that sounds like a song! Anyway, bars and warm feelings about them and I go way back because my grandmother used to take me to them when I was little. My grandmother was something of a character. But when I got older and could go to them on my own, I found I didn't enjoy myself.
It was all the cigarette smoke. I was allergic.
But I wonder. Now that smoking is banned in bars and restaurants here, maybe I can start hanging out in bars. Maybe I can become a regular at Duffy's.
Think it's too late for me to take up a career as a barfly?
Nah. I probably wouldn't be any good at it.
You know what I was picking up at the convenience store?
A Dr Pepper.