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My very own Cheers is no more

May 25, 2009

The backlit sake, vodka and whiskey bottles are reflected in the shiny wood of the bar surface. The black wooden furniture and accessories complement the Asian inspired art on the wine-red wall, while a blue curtain with gold stars catches the eye, but surprisingly fits in perfectly with the rest of the décor.

Ice clinks against the glass in my hand, my tongue tasting the bitter but pleasant flavour of the scotch. The liquid of the martini you hold carelessly in your hand sloshes dangerously close to the rim of the glass, but somehow remains in place.

You smile flirtatiously at me over the rim of your glass, as you listen intently to whatever nonsense I happen to be spouting – knowing me it could be anything from politics to religion to Battlestar Galactica. Your ability to take an interest in anything that matters to me has always been one of the things that I love about you, and I am reassured that this is unlikely to go away anytime soon.

The room around us is busy, but not bustling, as I would have expected on this particular night. There’s a young, attractive couple, well dressed, having drinks at the bar as we lounge on one of the faux-suede couches. It becomes apparent later that the woman is from Chicago, only here to visit her male ‘friend’, though he obviously wishes he were something else to her.

The wife of the owner and executive chef lounges on a couch across from us. She is with her friends but is alone in her thoughts. Her tear-filled eyes catch mine, and she softly smiles a sad smile. Everybody else in the room is upset about the restaurant closing down, but their main concern is finding a new place to drink. For her, this is the end of a journey, and the destruction of a dream.

This place, an oasis of chic civilization in the middle of a desert of uncouth alcoholics, holds memories of suck good times that it’s hard to let it go. You said I should have brought a camera to remember, but a simple photograph merely captures the appearance of this place. Essence, and memory, eludes a still image.

I’ve never had a place like this. A place I’m excited to go to, a place I feel good at, a place where, for lack of a better term, everybody knows your name.

And I’m not sure if I will again.

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