Just come back from a couple of days in town. Whisky was visiting, having sold his house, and was clearing out the remnants left in it. Those remnants were in the wine cellar, including many dozen bottles of wine – of which about 6 dozen were mine. I had to be there to collect that and find somewhere to store it. I spent most of Thursday afternoon there.
Thursday night I went to a networking function in the city, which was my second reason for being in town. There was someone I wanted to meet just in case, and besides a free beer is nothing to be sneezed at. I cruised the crowd and then sat down for a presentation on flash storage before schmoozing again for as long as I had patience for it. Pretty standard. I met the people I needed to, had a beer and something to nibble on.
One of the people there was the guy who had so excitedly offered me to partner with his business a few months back. That didn’t work out, for reasons already documented, but essentially because he’s a bit of a flake.
No avoiding him so I went up to say hello. From the very first instant it was clear he didn’t want to know me. He was close-mouthed. He answered my questions, but no more, and didn’t bother to ask anything of me. I wasn’t pissed off as such, but walked away thinking it was a pretty graceless effort – particularly as it was he that fucked up, not me. C’est le vie. Be the better man H.
These events can very easily be dull. This wasn’t dull as such, but I was happy to cut out early. I walked out into Swanston Street. I had a bed waiting for me at the Cheeses, but wasn’t ready to head off yet. The sun was still shining, it was warm, people milled about. I wandered about taking it in, searching for a reason to be there. That’s not hard to find. I headed off to Bar Americano for a cocktail or two.
Bar Americano has the feel of an old American speakeasy. It’s tiny, just one small room that is basically a hole in the wall, at the end of an inconspicuous laneway. The cocktail list focusses on old-time classics and rediscovered gems, many of which date back to the start of last century. It’s got a good vibe, some great cocktails, and an excellent bartender, Hayden.
Like all good bartenders Hayden recognised me as soon as I walked in, though it had been at least two months since I’d been there. I think every time I’ve been there I’ve been there solo. I’m an accomplished solo drinker. I’m also very practised at yarning with the bar tender, which I’ve done in bars all over the world. We’ll talk about most things, but booze is the central topic.
While couples giggle and schmooze I’ve stood at the bar with Hayden chewing the fat. That’s what we did again on Thursday night in the space of a couple of cocktails, a Bolo first, then a Dick Junior. I sipped them feeling very much an urbane man about town in my suit and lavender shirt, light-hearted, content. I left feeling refreshed in purpose, and revived in spirit. That’s the real H.