The Bar Dalliance

The night is a bitter remnant of winter, a season in Buffalo that seems to stretch right into the following autumn. The cold doesn’t depress Jim Dade, though. Out of the storm he blows, out of the dark and into the dim with its warm smells of ash and beer.

This is his tavern. He knows it as well as his own kitchen. This is his local, his pub, the third of its kind he’s visited this evening. Jim Dade is not a man who can be tied to one establishment, not one to be bound to the usual by a comfortable lack of imagination. He’s far too spirited for that, especially tonight when there are matters to celebrate. Immortality for one thing, a writer’s sure sense of imminent success. Jim Dade is ready for this moment. He can write timelessness on a page, and he knows it.

Jim kicks off the snow at the door and leads his friend, Charlie, across the room to his regular table in the corner. He waits in amusement while the two patrons sitting there pick up their glasses and move to a distant corner of the room. People do that in all the bars. He and his friend are a force to be reckoned with. When they enter a room, common customers they have nothing in common with always give them place. Jim strokes his narrow mustache as he watches the two go, and bows graciously when they turn to look at him again. He appreciates the deference, the narrow privacy they allow, particularly now with the stuff of forever to discuss.