It’s good to see that an anti-smoking law is making steady progress toward passage here in Wisconsin (the ashtray of the midwest), as it’s one reason we rarely go out anymore. We made an exception the other night (unfortunately thinking, mistakenly, that the venue was smoke-free…’twasn’t, and my jacket is still hanging up to air) and saw a local musician, Julie B., whom we’d been fans of years ago back when I (at least) used to go see local acts a couple times weekly. Julie used to lead the band True Heart Susie, and has also done composition for small ensembles and played solo piano shows, jazz duos, and a new full-band (the Julie B. Well) which I haven’t seen yet. Anyway, her show Friday at the Art Bar was an occasion for a bit of nostalgia for me: I recognized a few folks in the audience from those long-ago bar-band-viewing days fifteen years back, older, with less and grayer hair, less trim, and the like (all true of me as well!). We were amused by a very loud-laughing, increasingly drunk woman – but she was a very good drunk, in that she was just having a very good time and not getting obnoxious (other than, perhaps, unintendedly) – and then a rather eccentric-looking fellow in a scruffy beard and skullcap came in selling flowers. It reminded me, at least, of some things we’d lost, a bit, in pursuing lives of relative stability (financial and otherwise).
I’m sure it’s as well, though: even when I could do so, the charm of staying up drinking until the wee hours every night rapidly wore thin, and if I even tried it now – even if I didn’t have to wake up at reasonable hours in the morning, and even next year after (it is devoutly to be wished) anti-smoking laws are passed (a civilized people does not think it acceptable to poison others), it’s a place much better visited than dwelled in.
But places well visited are still places worth revisiting, and we really should return sooner than later. (Damn what’s up with my diction tonight – been quaffing at some sort of faux-antique-y thing… Oh wait: I’ve been revisiting my Jethro Tull catalog! Really…that probably accounts for it…)