Why I Like to Go to the Bar

I like to go to the bar and talk to an old lady. I like to ask her about the time she met Janis Joplin and her relationship with her mother and how those two things came to be related. I want to confess to her that yes, I’m here with that large bearded man, and yes, I do love him and isn’t it scary!? I want to tell her that, and then I want to add, ”But I didn’t get along with my mother either. See, even though I’m here with him, I could just as easily be here with you. My mother didn’t want to hear that about me though, so she whipped me, yelled at me, named me a pervert. And so I took it back.”

And the old woman says, ”Do you talk to her now?” And I say, ”Yeah, but it’s okay. She doesn’t need to know everything about me. She’s too old to change. It doesn’t hurt me anymore.” And the old lady congratulates me on being so mature, telling me, “That’s right! Live and let live!” She assumes I’ve done the work to get there. The lady doesn’t know I’ve just shoved it down, compartmentalized it, labeled it unacceptable to everyone but those clubs that would have me as a member.

She doesn’t know that in two years I won’t be able to shove it down anymore. The old lady just wants to talk about Woodstock and if I wouldn’t mind, could I get her another vodka cranberry while I’m up there? That old lady is why I like to go to the bar.