||The Watering Hole
I enjoy going to the watering hole where all the regulars are extremely friendly. A comfortable ease overcomes me with each visit. They are like one big family. Each and every person that waltzes in knows someone already sitting inside. You can go in alone and be sure to see a familiar face. This place is as comfortable as it is a sensory overload.
There is a darkness that settles the mind. A smell of beer and cigarettes fill the air. The smoke that lingers there is from days gone by. It drifts in the air near the bar and tables like light fluffy clouds when the sky is blue. The dark, weathered wood on the ornate wooden beams that line the ceiling have a wooden face that look down on the guests in each corner. The tiled floor is well worn and it makes me wonder how many steps have been taken on it. Mirrors with pink flamingos line one wall, along with booths of people laughing or talking or every now and then crying. The long, dark bar is constructed of the same weathered wood as the ceiling. It has been touched by many and has held up many glasses of liquid that let people forget about life for awhile.
The bartender is an original. He is always well groomed in his blue jeans, white button down shirt and tie. He has a different tie around his neck each time I see him. I always gaze at the tie and wonder, what meaning, if any, that particular tie has to him. He has a great collection of ties. He is extremely well liked by all the neighborhood people who have known him for many years. His father was the original owner and he worked there most of his life.
The waitresses are in constant motion. They are always busy but take a few moments to make the customers feel special. Each time they pass, weighed down by meals on a tray carried high above their heads, I smell the food and wonder which meal is going to which person. There are daily lunch and dinner specials. The food is just like a home-cooked meal your mother made. The food is a true delight.
The eight televisions are always on. A juke box plays low until the lights are dimmed later in the evening and then the music gets louder which makes all the sounds at the bar go up a few decibels. A video game is in the back and you hear loud cheers from each of the players as they compete in some new age technology based, simulated war. Another sound in the back is of the cigarette machine knobs as they are pulled out for yet another pack of addiction or comfort for someone. As the night goes on the path to the restroom gets more and more difficult. It is a stumble and a side step and then if you listen carefully, the struggle to lock the door once inside is quite amusing.
As I make my quick exit I realize that most nights at the watering hole are like a sea or ocean of people and I enjoy watching the tide come in and go out. The last tide of the evening you see surfers riding their last wave, where old water meets young brine, and I wonder what my next visit will bring.
Reprinted with permission. This paper was written by Sue Crawford for a college writing assignment. We are flattered that she chose us for her paper. Well done, Sue!