Saturday, May 21, 2011

letter ten


Dear Bartender,

could we be just days away from a commitment letter from the bank? truly?

so we were told on monday, when luckily, we both found ourselves in mattapoisett on the final day of our staycation for your birthday. after a call from d at the bank, once dropped, twice picked up, i quickly showered and readied myself presentable after having only worn my cargo skirt and tank top sans shoes for most of our vacation, spent on the boat. an application needed to be signed. an application that should have been already completed weeks ago. you set aside your annoyance and we made the trip to the bank. fed the meter an additional 30 minutes to its already remaining 4.

d is energized. conversational about her weekend spent at rained out baseball games of her kids. we sign next to the x on each page. verify that the information from the other application is correct. chatter about the bar. our plans. whether or not 51% of the property is the business. whether i'll be part-owner. you've reached the "whatever is easiest" phase of responding. whatever will get us in and making money. after four months, you are ready. the imagining needs to cease in honor of the tangible.

my stomach turns. only a bit. i've already filled out paperwork. for some reason, being in the office makes it more real. the air conditioning in the bank cools my sandal-clad toes. i cross my ankles, resting feet closer together. we resume common discussion with her about when our wedding will be. how our type of vacations/weekends are a blur in her memory after having kids. we scoot out quickly and greet the heat with heads heavier than before.

we could have a commitment within days. then the appraisal. hopefully it'll match near to what they're asking.

this weekend, we taste test drink recipes. perry texts me today to see what we need. glasses/cups. i'll be taking photos. that will be fun. tipsy fun, no doubt.

i want to remember all of this. if/when we are able to begin, it'll be a blur. just like it is for d when she imagines life before her kids. life before this bar will be something else. we are already not planning to far ahead with vacations, etc. in anticipation.

your girl

Sunday, May 15, 2011

letter nine


Dear Bartender,

it's been weeks. weeks since we've heard any updates from anyone about the loan status. when/if we may close. the eagerness to begin is thick. your frustration with the silence is understandable. i'm at a loss of how to console other than by kissing your worry away. assurances that this is just how it goes. slowly.

then, this week, the progress flooded in.

you attended the license committee meeting on monday night. while i grocery shopped and cooked a pot of corn chowder (that's what i do in these times of worry -- cook comfort), you waited out an awards ceremony until your moment arrived to speak to the town about the transfer of license. you came home late sharing the good news. they actually wished me luck with the new business.

our architect-friend also e-mailed you sketches of what the building's facade may look like if you have your way with it. how cool is that?! you exclaim. i got chills when i saw the secret name in the subject line. is it becoming something real? do i dare say, i think so? i've driven passed that building so often. spent late nights and sunday afternoons beside that bar. never have i imagined that it could look as lovely as it does in his sketches. even when my mind pictured the improvements you were mentioning as we drive by each weekend. just the sight sparking conversation. these friends of ours. amazing. guiding our path in their own ways. one discovers the suitable name. another guides you through the legal process. and, this one, sketching our dreams on a piece of paper. sigh.

with these two occurrences, the veil of worry is lifting. yes, yes, i know new worries will come with the business. but, your frustration with the process and not being where you want to be in this moment--behind your own bar--that's scattering away.

now, we wait for the state to grant you a license. and, while we do so, the fun is beginning.

i find the sysco glass catalog online and send it to you. virtually flipping through the pages. imagining what the drinks perrya and i devise will look like in all of the styles of glasses. a glass. a simple glass will lend an air to the vibe of the room. sangria in mason jars? old style highball glasses? thin? thick? ah, the sweet relief of minutia.

Monday, May 9, 2011

letter eight


Dear Bartender,

You let me ramble on. Laying phrases of stress upon your curious ears. All about the next day's blogger event at WBUR. I didn't know what to cook. I had a recipe to write. I had a fritatta to make for dinner. You had, as I'd requested, sauteed the ground meat with the special seasoning. You remained leaning against the stove-side wall. Quiet. Watching my moves through cabinets and drawers.

Need anything?

Yes, potatoes.

We have one.

That's perfect.

An onion.

Here's one in a bag. White. Oh, and there's half of a red onion in this container.

I'll use both. This fritatta is all about using up the fridge remains. Shredded cheese. Remains of blue cheese from boat trip.

Here. Anything else?


As I set out the cutting board, grab the pink knife my sister bought me for Christmas, and continue to ramble, your silence starts to seep in and pauses my activity.

I look at your face. Clearly you're holding something back. Your eyes say, ASK, ASK!

Wait? Did you hear back from her. Holy crap, how could I forget?

Yes, maybe I did. Your smirk turns to a full smile then you catch yourself and resume the serious face. As if in doing so you prolong the suspense.

Well, tell me! Did it pass? Are we approved.

Yes. You are unbelievably calm.

I put down the knife and walk over to you for a hug. How could you let me ramble on?

Then, we settle into the you talk/I cook routine. I ask whether you found out via e-mail or phone.


What are her impressions?

She thinks the bank will approve also.

So, we're almost there, yes?

I think so. Her boss approved it. Now, it's up to the bank.

I'm kneeling down to reach the large skillet in the cabinet. I turn to you and simply say, holy fuck.

Well put.

We're just about there. I shuffle you out of the kitchen so you may rest before work and I may cook our dinner quickly without distraction.

Yet, my mind is full of thought now. So close. A fritatta is the perfect meal for us right now. It'll fill our bodies to match the weight of our minds.

What's next?

your gurl

holy f*** fritatta

1 lb ground meat, seasoned
extra virgin olive oil
1 potato, chopped
1 small white onion, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
5 eggs plus 2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
any bits of leftover cheese
1/2 cup milk
pinch crushed red pepper flakes

set oven to 350 degrees.
saute vegetables.
saute meat.
whisk eggs.
layer potatoes/onions.
layer meat.
pour eggs over the lot.
cook until set, about 5 mins.
transfer to oven for 15 mins.
cool for a few mins transfer to plate.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

letter seven


Dear Bartender,

today is the day. the day when our financials and loan request are presented to the committee. we don't know what time this is happening. and, when i asked you today, you said it made your stomach turn and that you'd rather not think about it. throughout all of the other bar buying opps we've had, we've never been this far. this close. this nervous.

phish allowed you to chill out last night. well, since last thursday, really. you called this break your mini-summer vacation. and, somehow, we both forgot about everything going on, just danced and enjoyed time with our friends, until you said that tomorrow (today) is the day adulthood starts. i stopped dancing and wondered why i hadn't addressed the date. sneaky lil bugger. you smiled, nodded toward the band and resumed dancing with a quick mention about if anyone is going to push you into this new phase, it's these guys.

so. now. we wait.

the decision is out of our hands. i really hate that lack of control.

we are "before the bar" right now. and, if that panel decides in our favor, a single e-mail or phone call will shuffle us rapidly toward everything "after."

are you ready? are we?

i think so.