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Posts Tagged ‘beer’

Two Limes In.

Richard is trying to figure out the profound meaning of having the ocean closer to his bed than the bathroom. He’s taking it deep talking about “the soul of man’s desire” and I think that phrase only came out because he’s gone through two limes now on Coronas alone.

“We want conveniences,” he tells me, slapping a mosquito, “just a carefully packaged substitute for what’s real. Modern amenities are such bullshit.” With that, I make it a point to accept any argument that ends with fill-in-the-blank is such bullshit. Well argued, Richard.

He goes on talking “back to nature” and “back to ourselves.” I feel my bare feet on the wind-battered wood looking down to see the sand still wedged between my toes. My skin feels like raw hide and I don’t remember the last time I saw a mirror. Richard sees me looking off and says, “I mean, you get it man, right?” Slap.

I give him a “yeah yeah” or maybe a “the simple life” and I think I threw in a half-mumbled “but Richard, amenities don’t kill people, people kill people.”

We’re sitting at Mateo’s bar and Mateo is flicking wine glasses dry next to the tiki torches. He’s wearing plastic shoes and still has his sunglasses resting atop his head despite the fact it’s nearing one in the morning.

I start ripping the label off my Tecate and Richard sees I’m more in the stars above the roofless bar and less with him. “Hey Mateo,” Richard says. “Whaddya think? Are we digging our souls an early grave?”

“Interesting,” Mateo says, “that given the choice between finding truth and talking about finding truth, most of us prefer the conversation.”

I balled up the Tecate label and wished the long walk home was just a little bit longer.

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I lost my job today and ducked into Sammy’s Bar and Tavern. I saw a news report this morning that said it’s the highest unemployment rate since 1980-something, and then another that said the 70s. In Sammy’s though, people ate burgers on Texas Toast and watched the Cubs game. Summers in the midwest give people an excuse to show far more skin than you would ever care to see. But there is a ballgame on and the man at the bar peppers his fries, offers the bar tender one and says, “You look like you could use something to eat.” She smiles gracefully under the brim of her Cubs hat. She has strong legs and a deep tan and heads follow her during commercial breaks. The bar is mottled dark wood and has a shine as a woman at the end spins her cocktail. There are plaques behind the bar that say things like, “Golf is like sex: When it’s good, it’s terrific, and when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good,” or “DANGER: Beware of occasional foul words and flying debris in this seating area.” There are pictures floor to ceiling of celebrities from ten-years-back with their arms around the manager and owner, our beloved Sammy, smiling over a pint as he holds it in front of him. 

There is a ballgame and beer, cut off shorts, an open dart board, and the door is wedged open with yesterday’s newspaper. I order a pint or two and for that afternoon, all that matters is who’s on third and that the squeezable red ketchup needs a refill.

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Real Estate Guy : This place is great if you like to drink beer by the pool.

Jeremy : I prefer wine spritzers.

Real Estate Guy : Really?  You’re kidding.

Jeremy : No.  I make my own… It’s all about getting my buzz on.

——-

We asked how we might be able to get a few free months rent.  Jeremy suggested that we could bang the agent’s sister.  We accumulated 17 free months.

——-

Jeremy and I saw a sign that said, “Ask about your our handicap accessible apartments!”  We asked about them. They then showed us only handicap accessible apartments; lower counters, three foot closet bars to hang clothes on, and a shortened tub. We said that we liked it, but that Grams would say the tub isn’t deep enough.

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I read today that there is an environmental group in my town trying to make it illegal to take baths on even numbered days and if that isn’t reason enough to get out of town, I don’t know what is.

Maybe I’m just looking for excuses.

Rob from the shop downstairs came by last night with a bag of goodies and a six pack of Natty Ice (his term, not mine) his roommate had left in the fridge when he left for Colorado.

“The store’s getting rid of some stuff, just seeing if you wanted it,” Rob said, pointing to the bag, opening up a can.  The shop downstairs picks over flea markets across Europe and sells everything at a 500 % mark-up.  If I ever need vintage cuff links with a communist hammer and sickle, I know where to look.

I looked in the bag, pulled out a bright silver claw with a button on the back that opened and closed the three spokes.  “What’s this?”

“Peter Piper picked his pickles with that antique silver pickle picker circa 1888.”

I pulled out a large spoon.

“It’s a berry spoon, just for berries, carved by André Vicomte, a well known silversmith in the mid 1800’s in Nantes.”

And then another carved, rounded knife with a slight peak at the end.

“Tomato slicer,” he said.

“Ahh.  I see.”

“Anything you need?”

“Oh yeah.  Thanks,” I said.  “I’ve been looking for some of this stuff.”

Rob drank his beer and pulled out his solid gold cigarette holder engraved with the word, “Jubilee.”  He says it used to belong to Cole Porter, a gift from his wife on opening night of the musical.  He found it in a flea market in Fontainebleau under some old scores.

Rob says he likes to come over here after work because he has too many video games at his house.  At first the company was nice and then it happened too often.  I tried not opening the door once but it didn’t work because he can hear my footsteps from below when I come home.  He knows I’m there.  I think that’s why he started bringing bags of stuff up from down below.

“Listen,” he said.  “We gotta talk.  I don’t know if this arrangement is working out for me.”

“Yes, of course.  Our arrangement.” What?

And maybe it was this conversation that gave me the excuse.  He talked for 30 minutes, the highlight being that he feels that we need to find more of an equilibrium in the friendship and I asked him what he meant.  He said he didn’t know, that he had heard it once and it sounded right.  

And maybe it is just that this is who I see more than anyone and maybe it is that my job gives me nothing to talk about except how tired I am and that’s what i say to Rob from downstairs, that I’m just so tired, and I don’t know if I can have this conversation now and maybe it’s because I’ve lost all ability to handle confrontation so I avoid it, even if it does me absolutely no good to do so.

And it has to be better than this and I tell myself that often and I see it often enough.  Most times I am just looking for excuses to leave and then to leave and then to leave again.  But there are times, walking on the sidewalk with the painted benches by local artists, my feet on the ground, soft grass, and the breeze, that everything seems to have a perfect equilibrium.

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