the 1881 club.
a bar away from bars. a refuge where people can go to elude the hassles and drama (and prices) of a normal bar. never crowded, never empty. not perfection, but a complete mutual sense of friendship is how I would classify the 1881. the quintessential “whole in the wall.” It feels like “cheers” must have felt, if the the show and characters were real. bartenders know your name, your drink, your problems, your budget. It is a place where you feel you are slowly becoming part of the history, like the place not only becomes familiar to you, but you become familiar to it. you can write your own story at the 1881, and that is a feeling most bars don’t nurture.
1881 is the address, not the year it was founded. This place has more locals than any place I have ever seen because everyone there is a local, or it is their first time for a lifetime. people don’t just stop in once.
It is Sunday night and a couple of us are sitting around a bar table talking, and the conversation shifts from the usual blah blah to a round table questionnaire. what would you, who would you, and so on and so on. Who would you want to have sex with living or dead? what kind of car would you have? If you had to blow $100,000 and have nothing to show for it, what would you do? things like that entertained us for a while.
Then came the question: what one thing would you do before you die?
a long pause. . .
then the answers roll out.
“I would sing solo in front of a packed house at the Hollywood Bowl,” says a friend.
the rest think.
“Start for and playan entire game for the Los Angeles Lakers,” says yours truly.
“Sweep the Oscars by winning every category, even the foreign film award”
then we asked the bartender.
without hesitation he said, “I would kill somebody, because I’ve done everything else.”
It would have been creepy had we not known the bartenders humor, and instead ended up making it worthwhile for us to ask. he always has funny off the wall comments to cause an eruption of laughter. and apparently he has lived such a full and rewarding life that the only thing he hasn’t done is to kill someone. he didn’t elaborate, but I think he meant to just end someone’s life on his terms, not really hunt someone or to pull the plug out.
anyway it was a great night of pool, darts, cheap drinks and great friends. so pull up a stool, get a drink and relax, because you are among friends at the 1881. I’m only begining to write my own story, go and write your own.