Quote of the day:
Every fight is a good fight when you are a cannibal.
The sweet spot was open again so I grabbed it real quick. I stepped out of my truck and inhaled Thursday's sunset air, then I walked out of the parking lot shared by El Tarasco and Foster's Freeze and on up the sidewalk to the light at 4th and Taylor.
On the other side Der Wienerschnitzel was packed. A little girl, no more than a toddler, had lips stained the color of blue Kool-Aid and was busy rooting around in the planters on the corner border of DW while her brothers and sisters (?) played on the tables and ate their food.
I walked past a white Honda Civic with handicap plates parked in front of Amy's Beauty Salon and made my way inside Jack's Bar & Lounge. There were about nine people inside, three women and six men.
I'd been listening to the Shark's game on the drive to Jack's and the score was tied 1-1 with the first period coming to a close. By the time I sat down at the bar I saw the Shark's had scored with just seconds left in the period to go up 2-1 on the most hated Detroit Red Wings.
Tanisha insta-served me a beer (you rock, dude!) and I felt like a dork for thanking her like three times really fast because I didn't want to forget to say thanks like I did the other day.
Feeling a little self-conscious, I decided it was probably better not to speak for a few minutes so I spent some time looking at the back wall of the bar to see if I could find anything different about it during the first period intermission.
Very first thing I noticed was the metal pail to the left of the tikki man in a barrel (ask a bartender to put the tikki man on the bar and remove the barrel....reminds me sometimes of what it was like to be thirteen lolz). This pail is used by Jack's bartenders to hold miscellaneous odds and ends such as a long Bic lighter, a pack of Camels and a pair of scissors.
What I'd never noticed before was the Bad Apfel logo printed on the pail, with the words "How about a tip you bastard?" printed on it in apple green.
I got this feeling like someone was seriously scowling at me and I looked up at the glass shelves and saw a pair of orange colored eyes looking out from under green eyebrows and a mass of white lip pulled back to expose a set of long, stiletto-thin black teeth.
Then I realized it was just the orange liqueur bottle with two oranges high up on the label and a rather large upc barcode at the bottom.
I took another sip of beer and decided that was enough looking around for one day.
I stepped outside and saw that Amy and her helper dude were busy inside the Salon. I must have been so focused on the car parked in front that I didn't even see them inside when I walked into the bar earlier.
The smell of Der Wienerschnitzel carried over to my nose and I decided to splurge on a couple hot dogs (lolz that sounds wrong, doesn't it?). The sun had fallen behind Chris' Service Center and I walked back to Jack's just as the tall DW lights came on overhead.
A Honda Accord materialized in front of the bar while I was gone and I tried to pick out the vehicle's owner as I dropped my food off at my spot at the bar and walked to the restrooms in back. I saw a Miller keg on my right, just beyond the hallway entrance where Beer Pong is played (the official WSOBP rules are posted just above where that Miller keg was at too).
After washing my hands I noticed there were no hand towels (haha isn't that how it always works?) but it's no problem 'cause I've got pants. I told T about the towels on my way back out then took a seat and started eating.
The game still hadn't started back up so I contented myself with watching Barfly TV.
The game finally started and I noticed that my moustache is long enough to catch beer foam. That was enough to keep me occupied through the whole second period of scoreless hockey.
As second intermission got underway two men came in smelling like bathroom soap and kitchen herbs. Then another guy came in, stood near the center table and took in all of Aimee's pieces, then he turned around and looked at the TVs, then he looked around the bar, then he walked out of the bar without buying anything (you can see a lot in the mirrored glass behind the bar--try not to focus on any one thing and then it's cool because you actually see everything).
I wonder if the glowering orange eyes scared him off?
I went outside and the guy walked back and forth in front of the bar a few times like he was trying to make a decision and I realized the Honda wasn't there anymore, then he stopped at the entrance to look inside, then he walked around me to the back patio/parking lot. What the hell is he looking for, anyway?
As I was writing notes into my phone, he rode out on a squeaky motorcycle and gunned it up Taylor.
If you've ever seen the movie Collateral then you know how awesome nighttime can be in a city. After indecisive-motorcycle-guy took off I felt a subtle warmth in the air and looked up from writing my notes to see dog walkers everywhere, the sky a deep blue-black to the east and glowy blue-green to the west and the 61 Piedmont bus stopped at Foster's then headed east up Taylor leaving it's thick exhaust smell on the air as the breeze blew my way.
I like this time of night just after the sun has set and all the lights come on because it's electric and loaded with energy and it feels like anything is possible. I hoped that feeling would translate to a rare win for the Shark's at Detroit as I walked back inside.
The game started up and a tall, white haired Blue Moon sat down to my left. Thick, not quite horn rimmed glasses made of black plastic were perched on his nose and he wore a dark suit jacket that was the same color as the eastern sky outside over a white long sleeve shirt lined in pairs of thin, faded blue stripes. He did not watch hockey but instead watched basketball and I wasn't pleased with him for doing that lolz.
Behind us the bar tables were filling up and god damn if Detroit doesn't score a goal in the third period to tie it up 2-2. I felt a chill behind me as a tall woman in a long black coat walked in and I realized things must have cooled down outside because she carried the air in with her like it was an extra coat.
I think it's neat when that happens because you don't even have to see or hear someone to sense they are there.
Amy from next door walked in to the bar for a sec and I went outside to check the weather. The wind was blowing faster and I felt discouraged by the tie score. The 61 bus drove past but thankfully didn't stop and as I looked to my right I noticed the airplanes were taking off into the wind. Normally aircraft land in that direction but not tonight.
The owner of the Honda walked very carefully out of Amy's on crutches made to support crippled legs. Her hair looked smooth and textured and was beautiful in the way a woman's hair looks when she's just come from a salon. The glint of the yellow street lights played all along her hair as the woman moved methodically around the front of her car to the driver side door, unlocked it and slowly lowered herself into the seat. Her hair reminded me of my mom's hair.
I wondered for a moment how she could drive, but then remembered seeing a film (yes, film) in elementary school of a woman with no arms who drove using her feet. I was sure the woman in the Civic could manage OK.
Old Blue Moon was one and out. He left the bar and walked west up Taylor to some unknown destination.
Back in the bar the game was back on and the third period was going strong. Just past where Old Blue Moon sat was another guy working on his third Sierra Nevada of the night. From the sound of it I think he wanted Detriot to win so Three Sierras is Enemey #1 in my book.
A pair of guys walked in and one asked T to put the fee to get his buddy's card back (which he'd left at the bar some other night) on the new tab he opened up.
Just then (Ryan) Clowe and some useless Red Wing named Ericsson got into a brawl on the ice. Ericsson fought like a wimpy European and in my not so humble opinion Clowe kicked his ass. I cheered for Clowe and dropped my phone at the same time, but kept it from falling through my five hole onto the floor.
Not long after that the period ended with the score tied and a five minute overtime got under way. I agreed with the man to my right that Olympic hockey is going to be the shit this year. Since there are so many Shark's playing in the Olympics us Shark's fans are gauranteed to have someone to root for on just about every game that's televised.
The five minute overtime ended fast with the score still tied. Then the Sharks won it in the shootout woohoo fuck yeah! Nabby gets the record for the most consecutive road wins by an NHL goalie (11 wins) and I remember thinking to myself it was fucking sweet he got the record in Detriot.
The crew of people at the end of the bar suggested they ought to have a footrail build party at Jack's (for those of you who've not been to Jack's, you should know the bar has no rail or foot rest). I think there's was a great idea.
Outside for the last time that night, I met a man from Ohio. He told me about how Ohio is not Kansas-east as I thought of it with fields and pastures and farmland, but is instead quite heavily forrested. He grew up in a town nestled into a valley where three rivers converge. They know something about flooding where he comes from.
He told me stories about the Burning Man festival. One was about friends having a tea party in the back of a jeep. Basically they cranked the steering wheel and tied it in place, but a brick on the gas pedal and rode around in back getting drunk and stoned as the jeep made endless wide right turns in the desert sun.
He noticed I was smelling the air and we talked about crazy Ohio and Colorado weather. Confident in our skillz, we decided it would not rain tonight.
I left Jack's Bar & Lounge not soon after. There were no longer any cars parked in front of the bar that could interrupt my path to my truck.
The next day I got to thinking about how how paying attention to the different conversations at the bar is like focusing on a particular section of an orchestra.
Tonight the talk of birthday planning would have been the brass; the talk of construction work, winning bids, contracts and TI's (tenant improvement) was the woodwinds; the sound of the Shark's game was the percussion, with The Voice Of The San Jose Sharks --Dan Rusanowsky-- as the principal violinist.
I suppose that would also make Tanisha the conductor.
See you tomorrow for the Friday symphony at Jack's!