Saturday, April 23, 2011

letter six


Dear Bartender,

We're on the cusp. Swaying to and fro. For days. Weeks, even. Knee-deep in plans for this endeavor, while waiting for the bank to shoot the starter gun. The frustration of the ebb and flow has surfaced again. You're anxious. Tired. Elated. Grumpy. Close. Distant in thought. All for the better.

I do feel the distance. We both do. And, as I hugged you goodbye last night at Green Street, leaving you with PerryA, your future right hand woman, so you two could hit one more stop on the research train, your face went all soft and concerned. You asked if all is good. Oh good, I thought, you feel the distance too. Literal distance. You in Poi. Me in Cambridge. Every. Weekend.

Yet, as you delve into plans for this proposed business, the distance grows more. I can't help but wonder if I'll ever see you when immersed even more so in our opposite lives of employment schedules. I know we're strong enough to make it all work. I wonder though, when we'll ever have quality time to nourish US. I curse opposite schedules even more as the days pass and we discuss decor of the bar, the name (should we include the or lounge?), and PerryA and I are assigned the luxurious task of developing the drink list. I see you moving forward. For you. For us.

And, yet, I'm drifting through days of the same after the same. Will I simply continue working my usual gig? Will I need to commute into the city? Then, I'll never see you during the week...And, you'll branch out into the new life and others will join you and I'll scamper in and out, barely part of it all. Perhaps not, but as of right now, seems it could be so. I hope I'm wrong. Because I can't take the divide growing any larger than what we deal with now. I cherish the hour we spend between our work schedules, tucked on the couch, minor utterances, many looks of acknowledgment. Then, you're off.

I have enjoyed scouting out bar ideas with our friends whose talents will grace the pages of this business. I appreciate that you respect my opinion about decor, theme, name, drinks, vibe, clients, etc. etc. etc. All of the things that you focus on at once when I encourage you to view one at a time. One by One (a Billy Bragg & Wilco song is playing right now, how appropriate...). PerryA laughs that that's what I'm good for -- narrowing both of your attentions to one topic. One moment.

Please don't take my nervousness as a negative. The transition is close. Oh so near. And, being nervous is natural. My nerves stem from wanting to build it all together with you. Not apart. Can we do it?

We have thus far.

your girl

Thursday, April 7, 2011

letter five


Dear Bartender,

I've had much in mind to write to you; however, I haven't sat down to do so. Perhaps it's the holding pattern I find we're in right now. Or, at least, that's what these couple of weeks have felt like.

Last weekend, you went with a carpenter friend to measure the bar. When I asked you how the trip went, you rattled off your plans for introductory improvements for the opening then those that'd elbow up to the occasion once the business finds its groove. You seem calm. Quietly focused. The frustration of the paperwork, nagging computer use, and waiting for e-mail responses and phone calls has subsided. Now, you're back to your comfort zones of carpentry and bar service.

Funny thing is, this impending change looms in the background of our usual daily happenings, despite being the one circumstance that will change EVERYTHING -- where we live, where we work, how often we see each other -- simply everything.

I'm nervous. I don't share this energy with you. Nothing is wrong, per se. I just don't know what I'll be up to once all of these changes surface. Makes me feel...unsettled. Unsettled before being settled. I try to imagine what job I'll have. I can't. I try to imagine where we'll live. I can't. I try to imagine how I'll help with the business. I can't. All of these selfish unknowns test me. Do I just let go of the concern? Hope it all with fall into appropriate place?

The last time I found myself among this sort of mindful company, was over six years ago, just before we started dating. I moved twice. I fell out of love with a longtime someone (and like with another). I watched for signs.

After a few months of doing so, I landed in Cambridge, blocks away from you. A friend brought us together. Soon, we were dating. And, that's when I realized that letting go of plans could lead to my perfect outcome. Now, I must rekindle familiarity with this lesson. Trust in the unknown. Nervous. Curious. It's all good.

Friday, April 1, 2011

letter four


Dear Bartender,

After your meeting with the adviser, you were totally spent. The weight of the burden of the computer work you had ahead of you was resting atop everything else you're balancing at the moment. When you arrived home, I heated up lasagna. Set your place with sriracha sauce, sparkling water and three heaving slices of pasta squares. You went back into the kitchen to retrieve the beefy corn soup from the fridge. I want soup too. I shooed you out of the kitchen with strict instructions to sit down. Relax. I'll warm up some soup.

Three minutes later, the steam is rising towards your face. You slurp the hot liquid in between bites of the also steamy lasagna. Isn't that hot? I inquire while staring up at you from my reclined position on the couch. Ya, but I'm starving. I watch you. You watch the sports program on television. Eat, eat, eat then sit back. Moments of repose before another shift. I ask if you got the note I left in the morning, wishing you well. Drank the water I left out. Ate the snack bar. I see that you're wearing the button down shirt I put out. Do you know why I did those things? You curl your face inward, trying to beat out the smile with a scowl. Because that's the only way I may feel like I'm there with you, supporting you, when I have to be at work instead. You snicker. Rest your head on my shoulder/chest. Many moments pass before you rise again. Time for work...

The next day, you call me at work while you're waiting to park in the bar's lot, stuck behind a Sysco truck. 15 mins so far. This happens a lot. Then I hear you talking to someone and you say that you need to go. That you'll call later.

One workday for me. One gym visit for you. Later on, I return home and you're typing at the computer. The monitor's glow shines on your glasses. Concentration straightens your features. I rest my bag in its usual spot. Place my lunch things on the counter. Teeter over to you. You type for a few seconds. I ask if there's anything I can do. No, not yet. I have just a few more hours of work left on this. A bit today. Some tomorrow. Then I need to send it off to her again.

You spin the office chair around. What's up, my nerds? You motion for me to sit on your lap. Tender kisses. You are calm. You grab the Excel sheet and explain the breakdown of first year projections. Line-by-line. We talk about advertising costs. What the notion of good will is where a commercial loan is concerned. You strategize potential profit. Your earnings. Retiring at 50. Having the building paid off by 45. I comment about how you seem in better spirits. Ya, this stuff is actually pretty interesting when you look at it. Well, baby, you like things to be broken down into lists. It's no longer a large single number looming over you with no reference for why it's so large.

I rise and we discuss concern over the appraisal. The only factor at this moment that could blow up the whole deal. If the town's appraisal is much higher than the appraisal we must pay for next, then this whole project, work, fantasizing will have been for naught. If the appraisal comes in really low then the asking price needs to be lower and the owner may not budge. And, since we're both mentally prepared to make this move, uproot our city life to the country, we're really concerned about this block. It's totally out of our control. Unsettling.

You break away to continue typing. I watch you from the couch. Typing with only two fingers. This sort of computer work is foreign to you. Perhaps that's why you were fretting about this portion of the process?

You call me over to edit the spreadsheet. We triple check to make sure we've saved both documents. You head to work turning yourself around in the alleyway not sure where you parked. The usual routine. Nightly dance. I head to yoga. All seems per usual. All except for what's resting on our minds now. As we can't discuss with others what's going on, the burden is fully ours.