People at the Bar

He wanted to have the feeling again. Darn it, he sighed, always looking back, he thought to himself. Inside a warm place with tinsel around his neck. Christmas time. That was the goal. He could remember the scent and feel of the tinsel. Strangely comforting. They were a good gang and the restaurant did feel festive; trinkets, lights, decor, busy, commotion. He barely had the money but he’d live for another day, why the hell not, he said, closing the door and heading into the cold, a person with purpose, someone with something.

It would feel much more like the tinsel paradise dreamworld if he could touch her, not all the way, not skin, just hold her, in her clothes, on his lap. He didn’t know her like that, she was a friendly barmaid, very nice, liked him, but it wasn’t like that. Still, he could bath in her glow a little bit, at least, waft over some of that warmth from the other side of the bar.

It wouldn’t really feel like the old Christmas memory, that was back then, this was now, how could it feel like that, fully? That was more about youth; years gone by; family; people being younger; friends and loved ones still alive; the house; the street; the time he never considered would one day be gone – the time he did not, could not, fully appreciate. ‘Ah, the young,’ his mother would say. Yeah, he was young, for a very long time…

It was better with everyone around, and they were that night, the regulars came in. Nice people, like a family really, not that he’d spent much time with them, but, you know, it was going that way, it was nice. It wasn’t the same but it was something else, he was occupied another way, it was a good thing. He needed this really, it was his personality. He didn’t need to drink too much, of course, that would have been a whole other direction, that’s not what it was about – it was fun to have a few though (that’s just a whole other area, isn’t it? Wonder what will happen with that slippery road? Who the hell knows?).

They liked him, spoke to him, invited him, there was kindness. It’s different now, he thought, when he was thinking about the people at the bar during the day. It’s just different now. How could he make it more like the tinsel wrap. He didn’t really want to, even if he could, even though he’d gone out that night because he was feeling lonely and craved that feeling. All the work you’d have to do to re-create the past, and would it really work after all that? It wasn’t worth it, he thought, it wouldn’t be any fun (he recently read advice by an entrepreneur printed on a plague in an eatery, it said have fun, if it’s not fun, put it down, move on). Maybe there was something else.

He remembered his pal who said, ‘Maybe I should have had kids.’ From the way he said it, it sounded like the guy should not have had kids; he wasn’t surprised the guy didn’t have kids, with that attitude. Kids aren’t some car you should have owned, buddy, or an investment you should have been all over, like white on rice. You can’t just create all this stuff, it has to happen somehow, you know. A stream, a raft, you, flowing with the current. He was sure of his musings, they were an old friend. So much in his head, and a lot back then too, but different, just different.

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