The Unauthorized Biography of Rosco P. Coltrane

When it's my moment in the sun, I won't forget that I am blessed, but every hero walks alone, thinking of more things to confess

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Location: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Maybe I am a bit different from most people, some might say that it a definitive fact. But whenever I am reading a book, I get into a rhythm. I always seem to start of fast and furious. I try to gobble up the book whole. I sit down and tune the entire world and it's time out. But somewhere around the century page, I begin to get sick. I slow down. I try to pace myself more. And then suddenly, I lose my appetite for the book. I don't pick it up for a few day, even if it is a book that I love and enjoy. I have to let everything I have read settle.

When I finally pick the book back up, it's over. I begin to read every spare minute. And as I see that I am getting more and more towards the end, I begin doing the math in my head. How many pages do I have left? It is then that I am torn between slowing down to savor more words or hurrying up so that I can find out everything. It is a difficult balance, and I almost always tip towards hurrying up.

I usually read the last few pages a couple of times, to make sure I understand the ending. The worst part is putting a good book down once it is read. I always want to go back and reread part, like rewinding a DVD to watch my favorite scenes. But by the end of the book, the lines or scenes I want to revisit have past my fancy.

I finished a very good book, The Tender Bar, yesterday. It is a memoir of a man who searching for a father figure find many male role models at a Long Island bar. It was a fabulous book about the mystique of bars and the men that frequent them. Then entire time I was reading the book, I pictured the setting as a little bar I used to frequent back in Rhode Island called Mews Tavern.

It was the first and last place I ever visited in New England. It was a place where I spent too much money and too much time. It was a place where I would drag my buddy Mikey, even though he always wanted to go up to Providence to the dance clubs, because he knew that I would always find some girls to join us. It was a place where I spent a lonely Christmas night and it was at Mews that I lost a little bit of the loneliness. It was a place that had a great jukebox which ate quite a few of my quarters playing Elvis and U2.

It was a place where I could get a slice of pizza and a Rolling Rock at 1 o'clock after a long hard week. It was a place where I "drunk dialed" a time or too, proud of my courage at the time and regretful the next morning. It was within walking, and sometimes stumbling, distance to a house where I lived. It is a place where you couldn't order a Budweiser and not hear snickers. It was a place where the bartenders wore T-shirts that said "Cheap Beer Sucks!" It was a place with 69 beers on tap and all of them were good, especially the Newport Storm Hurricane Amber Ale.

It was a place that had dollar bills stapled to every bare spot in the bar, which the owners harvested every so often and gave to charity. It was a place that had a trivia question that if you got right, you got a beer glass, which I collected my fair share. Sometimes it was a place where I would sit down at the bar with a cold beer and write a poem or a story. Mews Tavern was my muse.

It is a mythical and romantic place in my mind now, even though I know that it was small and always crowded. But it was a place you could find me, I am not too sure if that is something I should brag about. It was my bar, it was my New England. It was a part of me, for good or bad, and I suspect it was a little bit of both.

It was a place I had almost forgot about, until I read The Tender Bar.

(Funny how this blog entry was hijacked towards the end. But if you read The Tender Bar, you will understand why...It's a great book...They ought to profile it on Reading Rainbow or something like that...)