Friday, June 8, 2007

Wishing for More than Kells Could Serve

The first bar I ever legally gained entrance to once I finished college and moved back home was Kells. I had never been to a proper Irish pub and the wall of scotches and liquors was impressive. Kells has been a stalwart of the bar scene on SW 2nd for years.

Kells is a study in dichotomies. On the weekends, and being young, this is the ideal place to meet young people who also seem to have just entered the real world. But if you look closer, as I happened to one night, I noticed also the intermingling of those who, much older, had experienced some of the real world already.

Often they sat alone at the bar or in pairs in the corner booths. One particular gentleman, dressed to the nines in a tailored suite, patiently nursed his drink and scanned the crowd. His face gave a look of a man forgotten, lost, and out of place. A man who probably once entered this bar much like I had on this night, the world in front of him, all things known and assured of himself and the place he would take in this world. But tonight, his face could not hide what I saw, a man still searching for his place in the world. A man seeking to forget that as we grow older, we know less than we ever thought we knew when we were so much younger and self-assured.

While my friends laughed, shared drinks and shots and beers, the lonely man with the tailored suit looked on. I don’t know if he believed in God, but I imagined that he and I shared our own belief in our own fear of living and dying a life too ordinary. I was 22 years old, and I began to wonder if I someday found myself in the same place as this man, could I at least take pride in owning a good suit, if only having lived a life too ordinary?
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