Location: Sam’s Place, Lake Tahoe, NV(map)
My usual table was taken when I came in, so I’m sitting with my back to most of the action at the bar. The bartender when I came in may be the boss, but I haven’t dealt with her before. As far as she’s concerned, my name’s “Buddy”. She did make a point of remembering where I sat last time.
The person sitting at “my” table was Norm. I’m reasonably sure I met him at a bachelor party once. I didn’t want to go through the false camaraderie we would both have to adopt if I introduced myself, though. I was pretty much a wallflower at that bachelor party anyway, except when we were playing poker. The groom, also my host currently, while not rolling in filthy lucre is doing all right for himself, as are most of his friends. Craig and I were there because our wives were friends of the bride. I think they reduced the money at the poker table dramatically to accommodate us. So while they were playing for what felt to them like monopoly money, to Craig and me it felt like bigtime gambling.
Norm has now left, and I just moved back to my usual table, the faint sizzle of the outward-facing neon in my right ear. It’s important when regularizing to establish patterns that bartenders and wait staff can recognize. Becky just started her shift, and she didn’t use my name, which I told her yesterday. Big setback. I’m going to try to sneak a picture of her now… crap. I jiggled it.
This isn’t a bad bar at all. Most everyone knows everyone else, so there’s plenty of stories to tell. It’s a safe assumption that some mutual friend did something stupid or outrageous lately.
Normally when I come to a bar I fire up Jer’s Novel Writer, not iBlog. I can concentrate very well on my fiction in a bar, much better than I can at home. At home there’s too many other things I could do, like check one more time to see if anyone’s hit my blog, or work, or (when I had a yard) yardwork. Then there’s the laundry that needs doing, the email, the bills, blah, blah, blah. You might have people shouting and laughing in a bar, but external distractions are much easier to shut out than internal ones.
Yes, sometimes someone will come up to me and say without a trace of irony, “Hey! Hey! How do you concentrate in here?”
The peak of my bar-writing career came two novembers ago for NaNoWriMo , when I took the motto “30 days, 30 bars, 1 novel.” I’ll tell you more about that another time, when I rescue the photographic evidence from my computer that is packed away. It was not a sustainable lifestyle.
Oddly, I am finding the bar to be a big distraction when it is the bar I’m writing about. The theme from Shaft is playing on the jukebox. Normally that would just be background noise, but now I find myself wondering, “Should I write about that? Would that be interesting?” It probably won’t be until I get home that I will be able to write about the bar.
I’ll give you a few facts about the place before I give up. The bar itself is of a rich-grained wood and has a nice curvaceousness to it. There are a couple of separate seating areas. One has a fireplace which I’m sure is very popular when the snow is several feet deep outside. Another has bookshelves. The bookshelves have actual books on them. The floors are rough wood, the cieling in the main bar area is wood with large wood beams, and there is wood paneling behind the bar. The wood is light enough that the bar does not feel too dark. I like wood.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to fire up JNW.
Addendum: This is a photo of Becky pouring a beer for me after she said, “Jerry, do you want another?” I would have said no, but she said my name. ARS is right on track.