I have dropped out of the bar scene due to becoming a family man, happened 24 years ago.
I miss it, and miss Happy Hours with strangers that become friends.
This subject has been discussed on another thread, so I don't like to repeat myself, so
I'll add a new tale, and not repeat my 25 cent beers and ones about the foods that were
offered during a Happy Hour or Bar Special Nights.
One Happy Hour, where the beers were 50 cents for a draft, I struck up a conversation with
a black fellow. His father and mine happened to work at the same company. We talked and
found many things that we shared in common. We both loved music, (actually, he had studied
opera while I just plunked chords on my guitar) we both were stuck in jobs we hated while
we had "high" ambitions for our futures, and we were both just ready for something special
to happen in our lives.
I really hadn't met or talked to many black or Afro-Americans (you choose the term you like)
in my life, and I was feeling good about myself because I was "noble" by really talking to
a black man or Afro-American (you choose the term you like, and that is the last time I will
write this). We were talking and he started talking about a place called "Fire Island" or
something like that in New York. He described it with such joy and it went on. I had no
clue, but tried to fake and understand his words. Suddenly, he looked at me with surprise,
and said, "You're not gay!
I reply, "No."
And we had an uneasy moment as we realized we were speaking the same language, but the
words had unique or different meanings due to our cultural roots. I thought I was talking
to a black man while he thought he was talking to a fellow homosexual.
I don't know if it was the beer or that we saw a truth, but we laughed and apologized
to each other for our ignorance. And then, we had another beer together.
I really did feel strange. Mostly because of my ignorance, not because he was gay.
I was embarrassed at myself, the shock I felt, the initial shame I felt. That was a gift.
A Wonderful Gift. I opened that gift and am able to love and accept many people
that live and believe differently from me. Now, I am learning to accept myself and
that others may accept me.
A good bar is a secular, wise-capitalistic temple; a haven for all souls, whether searching,
lost, or wise.
And the bars that purposely overprice their drinks to keep out "certain elements" may prosper,
but aren't the ones I would feel good in.
Folks, it's Friday, and I've had a few and went on and on too much. Sorry.