Friday, July 29, 2011

letter nineteen


Dear Bar Owner,

i'm writing on this hazy tuesday morning with an equally hazy mind. we've had quite a run of it the past few days and i believe it's now catching up with me. you worked until 6:00 in the morning friday night through saturday so you could make some pocket change building a takeout window at the cambridge bar. i woke a tad early on saturday with many chores in mind that i kept at bay until the hour you woke. the lack of sleep. the worry of what was ahead for us on monday. it was all showing in the puffy lines on your tired face. my poor man. i poured you a glass of juice instructing you to get some nutrients. you left to meet with the guy who rents the pool table and other "amusements" at the bar soon to be ours. i took care of housekeeping to be sure all was in order in our home before i left. tangible cleaning/sorting eases my mind.

we spent saturday night with our friends decked out in a psuedo preppy best for halloween shenanigans. then sunday we met with our attorney. he had the financials spelled out. he had a problem. a large problem it turned out. we worried that the deal would take more time. again. then, monday finally arrived. you didn't want to wake to meet with the current owners to count their inventory. apparently they didn't either. "let's just call it an even exchange." we agree. you return to bed for a snooze before the hour arrives. when i wake you, you ask if we can just not go. i don't want to be without you, you admit. can't we just stay in bed and snuggle.

you are not one to snuggle. although a grand idea, i don't allow for this avoidance. get up. this is the moment you've worked towards. for a decade. let's jump in.

paperwork, close to a foot thick, makes everything final. the issue of the day previous is muted, not gone, but not as costly. you rest your hand on my leg. you're warm, sweaty even. nervous. i hold your hand, patting with reassurance. when we're asked for our licenses, you shuffle your wallet around and sneak a glance at a note i wrote to you on friday morning. you nod at it - keeping it close it seems. this small gesture makes me happy. those simple words do make a difference.

the attorneys wonder about the name of the llc. you explain that it references our pup. the closing attorney says that anyone who names something after their pet is good in her book. talk of our dogs is filler between the itemized list. five pages long.

two-and-a-half hours later, we are outside again. congratulations in our wake. we stare blankly at each other. we do not grasp what we've done. we kid that we don't even know where the light switch is in the bar. we decide to open a p.o. box. then, standing in the post office parking lot, you say, let's just go to city hall now. we're in it. why not go and make it really official. i entertain the idea for the rest of the afternoon. instead of going straight to the bar, we visit our soon-to-be bartender and always friend across the street at the bar she is currently at. she raises her arms in paused cheer until we smile and say YES. we are here to check out the competition. the day regulars cheers with us a celebratory shot. it's blue and fruity. we munch on warm flat bread 'wiches from across the way. mustering up a slight buzz to relieve us of the morning's stress as well as fuel a calm enough to visit our new endeavor.

hours later, we are there, light switches in place illuminating a room filled with friends helping paint away the dirty nicotine white walls with a bright, energizing, warm red. i learn the register with the help of perrya. she kicks into gear making drinks, wiping the coolers, washing glasses. attention to upkeep an indication of how she's waited, like us, for this moment. she's invested somehow too.

hilarious dancing ensues. we marvel at our new identities as "the owners." we close at midnight. cash out. yeah! turn off the lights. perrya hugs us outside. seems to abound with excitement. i love you guys. she's not one to say such admissions. all of us are tired but aglow. i worry about when to return to the city. vow to sleep for a few hours then drive back when it's still dark. you cuddle up to me. this arrangement also new. but, we need this closeness. soon i'll be back in the city, somehow returning to normal when everything is but that.

a deer's shape and glowing eyes will wonder from the road what i'm doing driving at this hour. it's the hour of deer grazing in our area. not of people driving. the road is vacant save for truckers and a few suvs. i try to maintain my usual granny driving but am impatient to return home for more sleep. my throat is scratchy and aids in a raspy singing voice. sing a duet with bonnie raitt. relish the talking heads and ben folds five. scan until i hear jim morrison, your favorite. then, grow teary eyed when the neil young song i want to play at our wedding fills the speakers. i haven't yet mentioned this song to you. yet, every time i hear it, my eyes are wet with the visualization of us dancing at our wedding. of you surprised by my song pick but singing the words into my ear. because i just know it must be familiar to you.

the city still rests beneath a dark sky when i return. the skyline still lit as if in night. i grasp at an hour or so more of sleep then ready for work in our quiet abode. is this how it shall be now? separate? i try not to ponder. i grow weary the closer i maneuver my car to the office. i can't do this much longer, i admit. now that we've made this first step possible, i need to continue. what dream of mine may i bring to fruition now?

i relate the goings on to my office friends. by the fifth retelling, my throat is scratchy. you phone me just to hear my voice. share that the newness/nerves haven't worn off from a night's rest. you want me there with you. me too, sweetheart. we console each other with mention of the day's plans. with comforts of mention that we'll be together at the end of the week. that somehow, we'll make it so we don't have to be apart.

and, just like that, through a pile of paperwork, our days and nights are changed. i'm no longer simply a bartender's lady. i'm now an owner. serving a supporting role to yours. and, somehow, it feels like something i was meant to do.

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