Bar Plus Books Equals Honesty

Last night I opened my eyes. I was returning from a visit to where my mother started sub acute rehabilitation on the Upper West Side. A long schlep back home, it gave me a chance on a rainy night to ride the bus down Lexington Avenue home. I was lost in my thoughts when the bus stopped at the light directly across from Bar and Books. A cool concept for a bar to have bookshelves filled with all sorts of literature. I never saw anyone actually take a book and read it while in the bar, but I doubt they would stop you from doing so. Anyway, I hopped off the bus and ran down the block to go and have a drink. It turned into 3 drinks. The South side was calling me and I answered happily. Sitting there with a quiet/low-key group, I sipped my drink while watching TV but not paying attention to it. My mind was drifting. I was on my second drink when I heard a voice behind me call my name. Turned and saw it was an old acquaintance from that stomping grounds I used to call home. Irina asked me if I blew in with the rain or was I just waiting for someone like her to come by. I responded I am so lucky I was hoping for both and will now run out and buy a lottery ticket. I didn’t do that but instead we sat and caught up on our lives. She lives in Brooklyn with her boyfriend working in a hair salon but was in the old neighborhood visiting friends when she was walking to the 6 train stop and while walking past the bar felt the urge to go inside. She didn’t think she’d see anyone, especially me, since I have become more of a downtown guy since the years have passed. I caught her up on my life, my loves, my moments of glory and my defeats. It was a long night of drinking and talking but I really needed it. I didn’t allow myself to go beyond the buzz and there was playful flirting, which I do not think I can ever give up, even when married cause it never goes beyond the flirt when I’m with someone else. We stayed pretty late, listening to the music play and the small crowd grow even smaller till it was only a handful of people. We moved to a quiet corner where we put our heads together and talked about what would be the perfect life (or close to it). Irina, from the sounds of it, was more or less living it. I, on the other hand, was not. There are so many parts of my life that are incomplete. I can’t say I am living a life of few regrets. I feel I have plenty to go around. I also touched on my relationship with P. Irina told me before we bid goodnight to look into my heart and think about why I am with P. Sure I love her but ask myself is it the type of love that conquers all?

As I walked my way from dropping Irina at the subway and hopped back on the limited bus heading down Lexington Avenue, I thought about P especially during these times.  More and more, as I go through these personal life challenges, I feel I am doing it alone. Even in times where P is there physically, I feel she is not there mentally. She may be texting, IM-ing, Facebooking, etc while I sit and stare off into space, placing a hand on my hand, or a kiss on my lip to reassure me that she is there for me. Still, I don’t feel it. A part of it is my issue I admit, but I can’t make someone into someone they cannot become. At least not until they want it and are ready. I place a lot of hopes into P that she will become the one for me but I also am starting to see that perhaps, she is already the one, but just not for me.

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