Bar people


Partner and I wanted a light dinner one evening on the Cape, so we stopped in at a local bar & grill. It was cheap and cheerful, and very airy, and mostly a local crowd. (You can always spot tourists on Cape Cod: they look – well, they look like us.)


We ate, and we took in the local color:


The young(ish) couple at the bar. He’s sitting on a stool; she’s standing right over him, her face maybe ten inches from his. She’s wearing a little too much makeup. He’s got his knees open, and she’s standing right between them. She’s talking a mile a minute, staring into his eyes, never for a moment looking away . . .


The young(ish) guy at the bar, maybe three or four beers gone, telling a story to the bartender, so excited by his own story that he’s standing up, almost hopping up and down, getting louder and louder . . .


The old guy sitting at the bar, weathered-looking, with a hat and a shaggy mustache. (“He looks like he’s been here continuously for two weeks,” I whispered to Partner. “Are you kidding?” Partner said. “He’s been here continuously for forty years.”)


The gruesome-looking couple emerging from the back room. He’s big and bearded and looks either angry or constipated, and she looks either despondent or completely out of it. I look away for a second, and suddenly she’s alone at the bar, and he’s nowhere . . .


And most memorable of all:


As we were leaving, a woman was getting out of her car. She gives us a nervous grin, turns, and says in the direction of her car: “I’ll be right back.”


I look at her car, and I see a little dog, maybe a papillon, perched in the back seat, its face pressed to the window, watching her go into the bar. “Look!” I say cheerfully to Partner. “How cute!”


Partner looked at me sadly/wryly. “You didn’t see,” he said. “The dog’s not alone. There’s a little girl in there too.”




The dog was foolish enough to watch Mommy go into the bar, hoping that she’d be back soon.


The little girl didn’t bother to look. She knew better.


Happy Wednesday at the Sand Dollar Bar and Grill, everybody!









About Loren Williams
Gay, partnered, living in Providence, working at a local university. Loves: books, movies, TV. Comments and recriminations can be sent to

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