Yesterday I broke a promise i made to myself, which was never to return to m former place of employment. I literally helped build, maintain and boast about this bar. Although I am conflicted about the results, I don't regret anything, most especially the relationships forged while there.
The reason why I broke my promise, was the text I got, simply enough "Julie died". She was a regular, and as a Bar Back, people that are kind to you, that not only remember your name and in general, treat you with kindness, but simply, and show genuine concern for what is a physically demanding job, and one that doesn't pay all that well...well, those people stand out.
So upon hearing the news, I booked it down to a place I swore I would never be in again (fuck the new owners), but upon sweating through the door, I promptly hugged her husband, a man I have also bravely served time and again, and sat down next to him.
Words were barely exchanged; it was one of those moments where nothing really needs to be said. What can you say? I think it's enough comfort just to be there.
It was also emotional to seed old co-worker's. People I respect and miss. Right when I walked in this guy Jeremy walked right up to me, eyes wide, seemingly stunned to see me, then promptly asked for a smoke (which of course I obliged, everyone there always knew I always had tobacco on me).
It was good to see people I respect, and feel respected. But I really wanted to jump behind that bar and just FUCKING WORK; doing what I do, or did, isn't just an occupation. It's about a sense of place, and the people you interact with. Making something happen.
I am proud of the time I spent there, and the people I was lucky enough to serve.