There’s this hookah bar downtown.
A neon painting with a half-painted face becomes the backdrop to any angst rock start-up group. You know, a few guys early to late twenties sing covers of Aerosmith and Nirvana. If you visit the lounge enough, you’ll expect to see them. Torn jeans with knees jutting out, and a flannel over a band t-shirt.
At times, the hookah bar swallows the poet sitting on top of the bar stool. In front, a young woman with a slim build scrolled through her poem on her i-phone. Behind the sheet music stand, she gave us the pain of who she lost and the glimpse of the fantastical forest creature in front. Other times, a boisterous comedian might quip a few good one-liners but might bargain a shitty basement-level joke.
Nonetheless, I weld myself there. I pour myself into the smoky haze floating as Dr. Seuss clouds above everyone’s heads. Once, I saw a drunk man befriend anyone he hadn’t seen before. Another time, there was a beautiful woman with two Afro buns on either side of her head, a man who sang about bath salts, and a bar host who gave my friends and I red roses.
I’m not quite sure how an atmosphere can assure you. For me, I wasn’t supposed to be in a place like that – the way I was raised. Yet, at the end of the hookah hose – I puffed a thought or two. Besides I didn’t have to get life “right” every minute.