Monday, June 30, 2008

A clean, well-lighted place

Often, when I duck into Barley's on Sunday nights, I think about Hemingway.

Well, let me back up. I don't think so much about Papa himself, but rather about his short story "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place."

I've always loved that piece. Hemingway was at his best in the short story format. His tough, terse prose lends itself to it.

I often encounter a few seemingly lonely people, sitting at the corner of the bar, taking in the music. Sometimes I wonder about their lives, who they are, where they're headed. And, like the old man drinking his brandy, I too am warmed by it all.

Oh, of course a big part of that is Robinella, I know that. She was in rare form last night. I swear, she sings those sad songs better than anybody. I felt sorry for the folks who left to see Tom Waite. They missed the show.

Got to sing Don Williams' "Amanda" with her again. Made me feel like a million bucks.

Andrea, Chris and Drew took in the show, too. The conversation was good; it warmed the night.

When I got home, I pulled Hemingway off the shelf and read about the old man drinking his brandy. And I thought about how special it is to forget about life for a couple of hours, enjoy the company of friends and hear an angelic voice create her art up on the stage.

But, you see, that's what often happens on Sunday nights, in the Old City, at a clean, well-lighted place.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Solace for the lonely.

I become a part of the hardscape. Sitting quietly in one of the many shadows. Observing. Taking it all in. Blending, so that my lonliness cannot be seen by the others in attendence. The sound of angels fills the air, chasing away my solitude if only for a couple tics of the clock.

6:53 AM  

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