But the Mariner said it had been my idea. He said I, quite clearly and just the other day, said: "One night we should go to a quiet bar and have a drink."
Why not? Work was done, the week was over, the Internet was back on, the ceiling fans would have to wait and the cats had been fed.
Whenever it was that I had made such a flighty suggestion, I must have been remembering another time and another decade when the places I was remembering still existed. Because we walked for miles with not a bar in sight.
Finally, crossing 14th Street they began to dot and then pepper the avenues.
But, if there's weren't eight million huge TV screens blasting eight million different sports event, there were eight million people with fake IDs.
Bar after bar, street after street.
"Isn't there a list of bars for middle-aged people?" I asked.
The Mariner Googled 'lower east side bar for old people' but only came up with a bar called...The Old Man.
Finally, we wandered into the only bar we could remember not having a TV. The clientele looked a bit older than underage. In fact, the Mariner insisted there was one person there who could have been 40.
They didn't have sherry, I should have gotten the Campari with ice, I ate all the chips, the pistachios were gone and I just got tired of the noisy mess of bad conversations, combating existential ideas from faux-post-graduate cynicism. Complained about it.
"I didn't hear any of those conversations. All I heard were guys trying to get laid," the Mariner said.
"Really? I missed those!"
"Well they could have been the same conversation. We are just calling it different things."
So what if we were the oldest drinkers there by at least 30 years? A rose is a rose is a rose and that song remains the same.
MY PRIVATE CONEY presents IT WAS HER NEW YORK, the short stories that accompany the work-in-progress video and photo collection of the same name (myprivateconey.com - media link - IT WAS HER NEW YORK). The stories and the media explore the tender rubble that holds both my mother, Florence's and New York's soul as one disappears into old age and the other into gentrification. All are real observations and/or experiences with very little tall-tale telling.
Except when it makes the story better.
Please visit myprivateconey.com for additional information and sample works.