Town House Cocktail Lounge – August 3, 1986

I stood across the street where the bus had dropped me. I looked both ways before crossing the street, checking traffic and to also double check if anyone saw me. I am not sure what I thought I’d find there, but I was determined.

A blue cigarette haze greeted me as I scrunched up my eyes coming in from the midday sunshine. The jukebox played Steely Dan as I hopped up on the bar stool and confidently ordered a soda pop.

“A Soda pop? darlin’.”, said the bartender.

“A soda pop.” I repeated, far less confidently.

“How old are you, boy?”

“21”

“Ya gonna make me card you, or you just gonna get on outta here.”

There were a few moments of silence.

“I’ll get outta here.”

“Yep,” said the bartender.

As I walked towards the door with my backpack, the other men at the bar let out a little uncomfortable laugh.