Posted: March 15, 2010 in Life, writing
Tags: , , ,

It was too early to go home.   The bar seemed to beckon me, with its warm lights and light jazz music. 

I mean, I’m not normally a jazz guy.  You’ll never catch me playing lounge music on the piano, with that sickening salesman grin.

Still though, there was something compelling about the whole thing.    Maybe it was that the one wall looked out over the busy street outside.  Maybe it was the mix of clientele: some were couples, and there was a mix of single people, from various walks of life, who were clearly just enjoying a drink on their own.  As I would shortly do.

I made my way in and sat down at a small table, next to a wooden pillar.  A short-haired blonde waitress came to the table and smiled.   “What can I get you honey?”

They always seem to call you honey.  Or maybe just the good ones do.  I don’t know.

“What do you have in a Chardonnay?” I asked.

“Well, we have Lindemann’s.”  She looked at the wine list that I hadn’t realized was there.  “Oh, and we have one from Argentina.  It’s new.”

I took the wine list from her and took a look.  The wine she had suggested was a little more expensive.  And has any true wine connoisseur will tell you: the only way to know whether a particular wine is good is to see if it costs more than the rest.    “I’ll have that.”

She smiled, and took the wine list.   “Ok honey.  Coming right up.”

There it was again.  Honey.  I could get used to that.


I once went to a Keg Steakhouse restaurant and the guy serving drinks there called me honey too.  It just wasn’t the same, you know?

I took out my ebook reader and turned it on.  For the uninitiated, that’s an electronic device that holds a number of books on it, which you can read at your leisure.  It’s not the same as a real book, but for those who like to devour as much reading at one sitting as they can, it’s a godsend.

The waitress breathlessly came back with the glass of wine and plunked it down.   She started to scramble off but then stopped and turned.  “What’s that – if you don’t mind my asking?”

I looked up and smiled.  “Not at all.  It’s an ebook reader.”  I explained to her how it works.

“I don’t know.  I read a lot of books.  I don’t know if I could stand to have one of those.”  She looked away, clearly needing to go to her next table.  She looked back.  “Can I take a look?”

I handed it to her.   Her eyes lit up as she pressed various parts of the screen, looking through my collection of books.  I realized I hadn’t bookmarked my place and would need to take some time to find the page again.  It didn’t matter. 

She handed it back.   “There you go honey.  Thanks.  I’ll come back later and we’ll chat some more OK?”

“Sure” I said.

She never came back.  She was too busy. 

In the warmth of those lights, with the music playing, it didn’t matter.   The wine went down so smoothly, and I could feel the edges of reality start to blur, just a little bit.   I stayed for a few hours more, just reading and sipping wine, while the light jazz played unobtrusively in the background.  The outer edges of the restaurant were dark, and there were fewer cars rumbling outside on the street when I was finally ready to pay my tab and leave.

I exited out into the breezy Toronto night, aware that I’d experienced a genuine pleasure.  One of life’s little such pleasures, it seemed.

  1. contoveros says:

    Life’s little pleasures all exist in the present, when one discovers the joys of the moment. I think most writers learn to enjoy the moment for the rich possibilities that each provide to mine, explore and savor for a possible story, a truth, some meaning hidden until half a glass is carefully nursed and the first hint of inspiration arises.

    Jazz man. Smooth jazz.

    kinda like your voice over the radio here. Easy to listen to. Nice to return to for more.

    michael j


    • I know what you mean (I mean I *really* know what you mean). When my mine stops scurring around like a rat in a maze, I can stop and observe what’s going on, and that’s when the soaking up of atmosphere can happen.

      Your words take me back to that old comedy show WKRP in Cincinatti, when Venus is on the air, with his smooth voice and mellow sounds.

      By the way, this has become a kind of ritual or habit for me – dropping into that bar late at night, just to relax, read and drink. Not every night of course, but regularly for sure.

      I was thinking: any time you want to pay a visit to Toronto, please let me know. I’ll spot you a glass of wine or a beer if that’s your poison. :)


  2. Loree says:

    That sounds like a damnstraight perfect evening from here. I’m with her – I read a ton of books and am RESISTING RESISTING RESISTING. I do so like the way books feel and act. :))


    • Yes, you both have a good point when it comes to books with pages and spines. This ebook is growing on me though: I don’t have to plan a trip to the bookstore when I’m running low. Just have to go to my online bookstore, make a purchase and the material’s in my hands within a few seconds.

      Instant gratification.


  3. Loree says:

    wow, That’s the scariest smiley face in the history of the planet.


  4. contoveros says:

    Red wine. From a jug, not the expensive kind.



    • Sounds good but…I get headaches really easy with red wine. Which is really too bad.
      White wine – Chardonnay actually – seems to work well, even better than beer.

      Oh wait – you meant what to serve you when you come to Toronto. Right. Making notes now. :)


  5. wordofabe says:

    I read this while riding my motorcycle through the redwoods of the Northern California coast. I had been thinking of how I wanted to write a blog about “moments”. You know, when everything aligns and it is just so… Then I read your post and saw that you were writing about this very thing! Well…I’m still gonna write it. :)

    Excellent capture of the essence of a nice evening.


    • You’re a scary dude, if you’re reading blogs while riding your motorcycle. :)

      Moments are a little more difficult to write for me. I like interaction and action. Which I suppose is a good enough reason to tackle the moments instead. Got to hone those skills somehow, r ight?


  6. Momma Fargo says:

    Awesome! We don’t have any “jazzy” bars…have to impersonate it at home with music and wine…it’s not the same is it?


    • Heh. I’ve tried it and can you tell you that no – it is definitely not the same.

      For one thing – at the jazzy bar, someone else picks out the music. :) And they serve you your wine when you’re getting low.


  7. Nadia Chyme says:

    Hmmm.. kinda sweet. Honey. Jazz. Reading. Wine. What more could you ask for? Kind of a perfect simple night… thanks for the idea. Sounds perfect!


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