Chasing the Muse
Sometimes, it helps me to write at a bar. A change of scenery, a few drinks to lubricate the gulliver. I've been trying to limit this practice because it can get expensive and physically negative... but occasionally, it is helpful to break through the creative ice.
Of course, you have to find the *right* bar.
There's this small bar under new management that I discovered the other week. I had a good experience there before and decided to give it another go. Monday afternoon, 4pm, had to be the perfect "dead" time to pick a spot at the bar and have a few drinks in peace while I went over my notes.
You know who's drinking at a bar at 4pm on a Monday afternoon? Drunks. And not necessarily the kind of drunks who are quietly working on their new plays.
This one very loud, old teamster bounded into the bar a few minutes after I arrived. He was working on some tv show that, of course, was on break for the winter holidays. He had one of those "drinking relationships" with the bawdy, buxom bartender where she flirted with him and he imagined that he had a chance with her. So he was a loyal customer and followed her to whatever bar she was working. He'd gone out of his way to meet her at this bar in Hell's Kitchen.
He stood one seat over from me. Hogging space, shouting everything, doing shots and POUNDING EMPTY SHOT GLASSES AGAINST THE BAR.
When the bartender was playfully pretending to know karate, he shouted: "YOU WORK OUT HERE AND YOU'RE STARTING TO TURN CHINESE!"
This is a joke he told approximately three times: "THIS GIRL TOLD ME TO GIVE HER NINE INCHES AND MAKE IT HURT: I FUCKED HER THREE TIMES AND PUNCHED HER IN THE FACE!"
When the bartender didn't respond, he lamented: "YOU MISSED THE PUNCHLINE..."
The bartender horsed around with him, gave him kisses on the cheek and generally had him wrapped around her finger.
This other drunk at the bar approached the teamster and went ON AND ON about how he dated Marv Albert's daughter— eleven years ago! "SHE TOLD ME SHE NEVER STOPPED THINKIN ABOUT ME, EVEN ON HER WEDDING DAY!"
Getting drunk on a Monday afternoon bragging to strangers about how your greatest achievement in life was dating Marv Albert's daughter eleven years ago?
Everyone at the bar spoke in all caps. Not including me, there were a grand total of three customers at that bar and I got nothing done because it was so obnoxiously loud.
"Walter's Cottage". Avoid like the fuckin' plague.