Dear Bar Owner,
you had your first official shift last night. i tried to stay awake until after closing, so i could call you and see how it all panned out after we last spoke, at the beginning of the shift, when the hum of the television and friends could be heard in the background, behind your nervous and hopeful voice. with only four hours of sleep from the night before in my reserve, however, i fell fast asleep around 9. fighting a bossy cold. i texted you as soon as the weight of impending slumber tugged at my eyelids. i woke at 12:22 for a few seconds. thought of you. wondered if you had closed or were staying open until 1. fleeting thoughts. fast asleep soon thereafter.
i woke to a quiet house save the television. bumbled around our home. acknowledged the strangeness of leaving lights on and prepping for the day without care of the sounds such kitchen fumbles made. usually, while you sleep through my morning routine, there's no illumination. unmatched socks and spots of bread mold have been the results of such timid morning practices. not so today.
as soon as i arrive at my desk from the first chilled morning of the season, i text you. do tell me of your shift. call me when you wake. and, you do. it goes something like:
i felt fine last night, but every morning i wake now, i'm nervous again, feel like i could throw up. just hearing your voice though, calms me down. our friends came by. friends of friends too. some curious stragglers. my mom - she told me she hopes that next week i have wine glasses and better wine than the sutter home small bottles. someone who works at a local restaurant was happy that the bar was open again. previous owners had been closing at 5. friends commented on how the beast of a jukebox being gone and the red walls were already lending a new air to the room. still nervous though. need to hire more people. we don't have the funds available yet to do so...
i tell you how i've started a separate blog to detail this new life. you laugh at that. we soon end the conversation. you promise to send photos of the progress. i assure you that you are only two days in. it'll get better once the old sign is down and ours is launched. when we put trees out front. when we stay open to certain times each night. become reliable for patrons. i'll launch a facebook page. handle the marketing. get the word out.
just before we hang up you say, it's all for us. that you'd never put yourself through all of this just for you. i laugh at this, knowing that if you were still single, you would be leading a different life. you'd have no reason to return to the town of your roots. you wouldn't own a house there in preparation for our family. you'd most likely be living that bartender life. you know, the typical one. the one you strayed from after i walked into the barroom. i'm both elated and guilty. the level of stress you endure wears upon you in the silver strands breaking through your dark locks and beard. you wear it well, my dear. and, i hope you don't resent it. i hope the surprise of this new path enlivens you once it's all set in place.
i truly hope it's all that you want.