Friday, September 16, 2011
This beer tastes different now.
I had the general idea of what I would do, in this new city, but nothing specific. I had lined up a couple of hotels and motels that I could afford, and all were near a couple of bars, some gay, some not. After that, all was up in the air. I had never experienced such freedom, such defiant and emboldening freedom as I did that night (nor have I needed to, thankfully). Almost in slow motion, I stood in the cold, hearing the gravel underneath my boots, outside of the the first nondescript bar before stepping inside. I remember walking on a cloud of cigarette smoke. I brushed closely up against several men. It was close enough to smell them wearing different scents, some artificial and very sharp others more pleasant. For sure all were very warm compared to the winds in the cold night outside, as I walked past them to the bar, and I ordered my beer. I caught a glimpse of myself illuminated by the blue neon in the mirror behind the bartender. I didn’t recognize my face.When it registered, I almost winked at myself. Now a couple of years later, I understand I just planned to go get a couple of beers and head to sleep alone for sure, but, things could change and I was slowly becoming fine with that, finally. It would take a couple of years before I could do all this outside a bar in the daylight instead of neon lights, and without a beer, sad for sure, but a path I had to walk through. Now I see me reflected somewhere and it registers who it is, I do wink at myself sometimes, you know, sorta like an acknowledgement to the younger me we did good.It makes me quietly laugh. I like life, it was a little bit of hard work but we did it. It did change me to feel that much freedom available to me, though. I didn’t know that much world was available, as odd as that sounds. I imagine it’s akin to when people go paragliding or jump from a plane for the first time, with a parachute of course.