I have always wanted to go to a bar by myself. I once read about a woman who brought a novel by a Russian author to a bar near her home. She read as she drank her pint. I then saw a man doing this at The Attic on Broadway. I’m not sure if the author of his book was Russian, but he was squinting to see the words on the pages in the dim lighting. And I thought I want to be the kind of person who can do this.
Last night I walked out of a movie. I enjoy sitting in the dark theaters by myself. I got a small popcorn and a small Dr. Pepper. It was a movie called Spotlight.
It ended. I was one of the first people to leave the theater as the screen ran the black and white credits to a slow melody. I walked back to my car. I allowed the movie to float around in my brain in the silence of solitude.
The gravel on the pavement was damp and my flats made clip clop noises. The steal oil thingy, which looks like a seesawing dinosaur, screeched in the lot next to the movie theater. I looked up, because in moments of silence and reflection it is an appropriate thing to do. There were wispy clouds in the night sky. It looked like the filling of blueberry pie with streaks of melted vanilla ice cream seeping in.
I looked up at the blueberry sky and there was an assuredness in me. It was fleeting but spectacular. And I went to a bar. It was the Attic on Broadway. I sat in the middle. There were three empty wooden stools on either side of me. I ordered an Allagash White Ale from a bar tender who was familiar. I pulled out my book of short stories and read in the dim lighting as I sipped on my beer.
I walked home listening to the clip clops of my floral flats. The Los Angeles winter air cooled my flushed cheeks. Clouds gathered in the sky. They were dark gray and looming. I got home around midnight. My housemates were still awake. I stripped to my lacy underwear. I put my pajamas on and joined them in the dining room. It is cluttered but homey. We stood in the dining room, all three of us braless. We listened to the rain patter against the roof and windows. We watched the lightning light up the stuccoed houses. I counted in my head. Five. We heard the thunder inform us how close the lightning struck the earth. We cooed at the nervous gray cat and listened to the storm fade. It left us with remnants of palm branches in the street and muddy front yards. But we were happy because water is necessary, even in cities that are in deserts.