Most of my regular pals were out of town. Phone messages left, emails sent, nobody around. I read on Facebook that this is a popular week to take off for vacation, since everybody gets that extra day on Monday off too. Despite my lack of connections I cruised the Avalon down to Northampton and parked myself at the bar at Paradise Tavern, and asked if they had any fresh mint.
“Sure,” said the ‘tender, a friendly lanky guy, and he promptly made me a very well done Mojito, tall and icy. I sat with my drink as the woman next to me looked down at her phone. There was a seat between us, and I sensed that gulf between my age and hers. Yet I wanted to chat with someone and I had no friends in sight. “Have you been here late at night?” I asked, wanting to know more about the amazing metamorphisis that this bar is famous for, turning from a mellow adult hang out to a wild and wooly 20-something club. “Oh yeah, it’s amazing, so many people in here,” she answered.
I ordered some food and sipped my drink. About 30 minutes later a friend I had emailed showed up at the bar, and I think my relief was palpable. It was great to see him, and we didn’t stop talking for the next two hours. We talked about our jobs, and our girlfriends, we talked about my employees and his boss, and a lot of other topics that kept us rapt and attentive.
Having friends who meet you at the bar is wonderful; having something to talk about, well, that’s priceless.