This one is for Blair.
These boys were my roommates while I was in Cali. This picture was taken in Smitty’s. We have Jeffy in front, Steve in the middle and Tom in the back of the picture.
Steve is a fantastic man. I can’t say enough about him. He’s smart, sharp and sarcastic with a great heart and a really annoying penchant for damaged women.
Tom. Tom is charmed personified. I am more than aware of his abilities, but I could never deny Tom a thing. I wanted to, I fought it, but Tom always manages to get what he wants, the fucker. He’s the kind of guy who smiles and cajoles you until YOU feel bad saying no.
But this is about Blair. The fourth guy.
Blair is my favourite bartender, a shark at dice and a great guy. He works at Smitty’s which is pretty much my favourite bar in the free world. I didn’t discover Smitty’s, my friend Jami did and when she and I became friends, oh like ten years ago, we hung out at Smitty’s a LOT. Even Ace has been to Smitty’s. Blair won’t be there much longer so if you live in the area and want to have great conversation and a good drink, head on over. He’s also really hot, in the fireman sort of way. Did I say hot, because he’s really hot. Like drop your panties hot. Jami, so way your type. In full disclosure, I might have a little crush on Blair.
It has to be hard being a bartender. You see people in every emotional extreme, every night. Some people can maintain, most can’t. Some are nice, sad or happy. Some are mean, sad and miserable. It’s got to be tough. That’s why I think he’s leaving to be a fireman. No, really. With his heart, he really has no choice.
I was in a bad place this last trip home. It took me weeks to get out of my head. Blair helped with that. Not to say he got me drunk and helped me stay there, because that happened only once, the night before I left and that, my friends, was an act of mercy. (Okay, twice, but that first time was so necessary.) No, he was friendly, intelligent and our conversations veered from the life I didn’t want to think about. And he totally kicked my ass with that dice game.
One night I was picking up Chinese and I almost hit him as he was walking down the street. I told Jeff that I almost killed Blair with his car. Blair just looked annoyed at the time as if it wasn’t the first time. Jeff? Jeff freaked out! “Blair? You almost hit Blair? Jen, this isn’t like that woman in the wheelchair**. Be careful. Jesus, not Blair! You are never driving my car again.”
Smitty’s is a local dive, but not the kind of place that makes you go home and shower and thank god you don’t have to be there. And it has always been good to me, whatever my needs were. This time was no different. You never know who you’re going to meet and there are always interesting people. This time I met some guy who brought his dog. His little fluffy little girl dog. He said she couldn’t sleep so he brought her to Smitty’s until she could calm down. Or the local guy who has been coming to Smitty’s for like 35 years. Or the chick who thought Markus was a model and wanted to know if he had a website. BTW, he’s not and he doesn’t have a website. At Smitty’s you can just start up a conversation with anyone.
My last night*, Blair helped me achieve the perfect hangover that was to help me fly home. Granted I didn’t fly home, thanks United, but the perfect hangover was achieved. Blair is nothing if not generous.
So, that last night, Jeff let Blair in on our beaver joke. I was somewhere else, talking to someone or something. I don’t know. All I know is the next day, Jeff texted (SMS’d) me at the airport. He told me to check my camera. Lo and behold was this last souvenir from a great trip.
** I don’t know if I wrote about that little car mishap, but long story short, I forgot to pull the emergency brake and my car rolled into a woman, in a wheelchair, on her tommy lift. Not good. I was not in the car, but my siblings always leave that part out of the story.