To Read, Or Not To Read

In bars, that is.

Because I saw this HuffPo post entitled Bars Are Great for Writers, But Not for Reading. Obviously, it was intended to gin up (did you see that pun I just made) some flames and back and forth and what not and it certainly got my goat.

You see, I love reading in bars.

I don’t get to do it much anymore. One of the things I really didn’t count when I became deeply involved with someone was that my solitary time at bars would greatly diminish. In fact, I think it’s safe to say it has nearly zeroed out.

But back in the day, it was my thing. And I loved it. The Pig an Whistle on Hollywood Boulevard was my haunt for several years. I would straggle in and belly up to the bar and drink Stella Artois and eat wonton chip nachos (so good!) and read. There are even certain books I have had trouble reading since my bar time diminished. Deleuze and Guattari’s almost deliberately unreadable Anti-Oedipus is actually more comprehensible when the intake of alcohol and alcohol absorbing nachos is properly balanced. Fully sober, the ‘body without organs’ means almost nothing to me.

There were novels and wonderful books that I read almost entirely inside the confines of a bar: Yabba Dew’s in Gulfport, Florida; the Pig and Whistle in Los Angeles; the Black Prince in Atlanta. The bartenders were understanding and I think the bars did okay, in spite of my apparently flagrant violation of the set purpose of the establishments.

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