I saunter into Gabby’s Bar and Grill; it’s just across the street from my apartment building. I have been there once or twice with friends, but this is the first time I’m here on my own.
I stand in the doorway for a couple of seconds and take a deep breath. My eyes have to adjust from the glaring sunlight to the dull yellow indoor lights. I take in everything around me. I see the worn out tables and worn wood chairs. There are a couple of booths, but nobody seems to be occupying them tonight. It looks like the few people that are here want the tables instead. That works fine with me.
Not wanting to draw any attention to myself, I walk over to an empty booth, and sit down. My butt rests on the cushioned bench. My elbows rest on the hard laminated table before me. Music blares around me. I look over the drink menu, and wonder, should I get a pop or should I get a beer? I decide, ah what the heck, I’ll get a beer. The waiter is nowhere in sight, I sit for a few minutes and then decide to go over to the bar and order.
I stand up from the booth and walk a short distance. People’s heads turn as I come to a halt in front of the bar. I guess its weird that I’m there by myself, but hey, I think to myself
“this is a new experiment, I want to see if I can write in a different place other than home.”
The bartender is bustling around pouring drinks here and pouring drinks there. He looks up, smiles and says
“Yes, m’aam, what can I get you?”
“I’ll have an Amsterdam Blonde,” I reply back.
“No problem,” he says, and he turns to get a glass.
I watch as he puts the glass under the tap, and the beer pours out. My mouth salivates as I think of the cold beer hitting my thirst quenched mouth. A white foam (called head) starts to form really quickly and he turns and pours it out into another glass, before it spills over. He finishes pouring my beer and leans over the bar
“Here you go” and smiles
I take the beer from his hand, and turn around to head back to my seat. I feel like eyes are on me, as I make my way back to the booth, but I know its just the anxiety of being in the bar by myself. I’ve never done this before.
I get back to my booth and set my beer down to the right of me. As I settle back into my seat, and open my purse, I pull out a notebook and my favorite pen and lay them before me. My IPhone is to the left of me. It beeps intermittently as I send the occasional text to a friend and he replies back.
I tell him “ this is the first time that I have ever written at a bar by myself”
We both text “LOL”
He tells me “I’ve written at a bar a few times, and I’ve always come out with some good material.”
My head is down and I’m writing furiously. I write about anxiety, and what its like to live with it. I write about inconsequential things- starting with the words "I remember", and write a couple of paragraphs, tear a page out and start over at least twice. Fifteen minutes pass, and I’m surprised that I’ve written three to four pages.
I text my friend “ Wow, I’ve done more writing here in the bar than I have at home in the last week.”
He texts back “ LOL, well you’re in a bar by yourself and there’s strangers around, its not like you’re going to get up and talk to people you don’t know.”
He’s right. Maybe that’s why I came here. At home I get distracted, and always find one reason or another to put aside my writing. We text back and forth a couple more times and then I turn back to my book and write. The act of writing takes over me. I love hearing the sound of my pen on the page before me, and seeing the words form before me.
The anxiety I felt when walking into Gabby’s Bar and Grill dissipates. It doesn’t bother me anymore that there’s a table across from me with a crowd of twenty-something’s noisily laughing and chatting.
The waiter comes by, and asks
“Would you like another drink?”
I look up, smile and say “No thank you, one's enough for me! Can I have the bill”
After receiving the bill and settling it, I reach for my purse, put my book and pen away and stand up. I head for the door. I smile because I’ve accomplished what I’ve wanted-
I’ve relaxed and I’ve written a new blog post.