Tuesday, March 8, 2011

letter two


Dear Bartender,

You were upset yesterday. Despite being together over the holiday weekend, I think we both were feeling an awkward distance from each other. Sometimes when you're working on the boat---sanding dusty bits into the air, muffling your hearing and speech with the sander's scream and a face filter mask---I let you be on your way.

I know how much you detest this portion of the boat work. I stay away so as not to be a distraction. This wooden boat, in so many ways, makes me feel inadequate. Yes, we've discussed this lacking on my part, but I don't think you can fully grasp just how much so. All of this---the rehabbing, the handiwork, the art, the driving---all of it is foreign to me. Yes, I want to learn. But, you're in a rush to get your beauty back on the water and you don't have time to teach me. Right now, that is. Please don't see my apprehension and care of your attention and need as dislike or nonchalance. I simply am ignorant of this pursuit and need many years to get at it. You've had a lifetime. A lifetime. I'll get there.


On top of that stress, you are amid this bar business. You woke to meet with the bank rep to fill out a commercial loan. I should have gone with you. Then, you wouldn't have shook your head in my direction later that day when I returned to the boat shed after spending the afternoon with a friend. You wouldn't have turned your head when I asked what's the matter. You wouldn't have had to admit that you feel alone in all of these pursuits so what's the point of any of it.

You remark: How is the business plan going? Meaning why wasn't I at the house writing the plan instead of being out with a friend. Honestly, I don't know what this bar business has in store for us. I'm not a player in that business each day. You are. I'm a bystander. A confidant. Not a participant. You rush away before I have time to answer. Before I may explain my hesitation about starting the plan without you near to coach. Because of my self doubt, your comment runs deep. I had trusted that we'd find time to build the plan together before the due date.

I listen to your rattling engine trail away. I curse my doubt. I sit upon the cooler in the back of the boat shed and hold my hands over my agonizing face.

I wonder...How may I write about a business I don't know? How have we gotten to this point? We are both scared of what's to come. The weight of the responsibility is taking over.


If we hadn't had the spat in the boat shed I wouldn't have found the need to drag you for a walk on the beach. To reconnect. No distractions. We talk. Finally. Linked arms. Pink sunset on the water. Calm. We share doubt. Unknowing. We sit upon the bench you built six years ago and marvel at what may be ahead. You spew forth plans of renovations. Quick renovations. Your words flutter sketches upon the sand and sky. Each page flips to a new update of the bar room in my mind. Heightened ceilings. New windows. Bar-top move. Outdoor lighting. New sign. New name.

You emphasize the need for the business plan write up this week. No later than Thursday. My Timberland boots crush shells and I tell you to give me thirty minutes of your time detailing your/our imaginings. Then I'll write. Writing. That, my dear, I can do.

Then I try to imagine myself behind the bar when we visit the spot on Saturday night. I catch sight of you scanning the room. See those wheels turning. When the glaze of thought and planning lifts, you catch my sight and smile.


You ask me how others are satisfied with the mundane. The everyday. Never striving for more. I don't know. I'm trying not to let go of that myself. Especially, since you're not as well.


  1. Your letters...they seem so oddly familiar...then I thought to myself "flashback circa 1983!" Thank you for reminding me to give my special someone a big hug for all of his ambitious dreams. Your photography is outstanding!

  2. LadyLuv,
    After struggling through these months, I truly appreciate all that you and Te built. You don't know what starting a business takes out of you until you're in the thick of it. Give him a hug from me too. xo