I just read a touching post on Bad News Blonde's blog about her and her father that reminded me of the first time I hung out with my son in a social setting. It was at a local bar about two years ago.
My son told me about this new bar him and his friends used to hang out in up in town. They had cheap drinks (16oz glasses of mixed drinks with rack liquor and imported tap beer for $4, $2 for the domestic crap like Bud), free popcorn fresh popped in one of those machines like they used to have in the movies and Tuesday’s was all the domestic beer and chicken wings you could handle from 8 to 10 for $10. Come on, that is like the best kind of bar I ever heard of.
Well, it was a Tuesday and I was on my way back home from my commute into NY City. My wife had just undergone her first brain surgery the week before and was in Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. I commuted into Manhattan every morning on the train to stay with her, and came home every night to take care of our dog and sleep. I didn't like coming home to an empty house, so I would stop somewhere every night after getting off the train to have a few drinks to avoid being home alone in the empty house for as long as possible. Having a few drinks also helped me get to sleep faster when I did get home.
I get to the bar and it is packed with, of course, all young people. I look around and see my son and his friends down the other end playing darts so I make my way through the crowd over to where they were. I’ve known all these kids since my son started elementary school, and coached most of them in Little League so I was pretty happy to see them. It was such a warm feeling the greeting they gave me. Part sympathy for my wife’s illness, I’m sure and part because I hadn’t seen some of them for a very long time.
They cleared a barstool for me, got me a big bowl of fresh popped popcorn, put the plate of chicken wings in front of me and I think it was TK that bought me my first of many drinks. I hung out for a couple of hours with them and had a great time.
I’d pretty much forgot about that night until I read Bad News Blonde's blog. Thanks Aughra.
Which reminds me. My son told me I’m invited to hang out one night at his friend Tommy’s, dad’s biker bar over by the Ronkonkoma train station. Tommy’s dad is a “retired” biker. My son said I would find it “interesting” to hang with a couple of biker gangs for a night. They are under gags, or what ever they call it, of the Hell’s Angels and are some of the nicest people. At least that's what he tells me. I think if I can get someone to stay with Barbara one evening, I’ll take him up on it. Might be fun.