Welcome to where the seeds of dreams are planted--where one can sip from the charmed chalice of life & meet interesting folk through (hopefully) intelligent conversation.

One never knows nor can expect who will sail into the fray--what we do know is that no soul here is perfect no matter how we try. So let us celebrate & raise our mugs to the idiosyncratic nature of life--to the Kramer's & Norm's of the world, the Roseanne's & Allan Poe's. Some old, some lost, some tortured, some blessed, all souls sharing a drink at the same time in the same place. The ensuing tales are authentic with names trending towards monikers. The flag waving on our doorstep means we're open, so come perk your curiosity in Le Harbor Bungalow Cafe.

Bonjour! Mesherfin! Hasta la vista! Your barista.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Harbor Fest!!! Part I

The neighborhood swelled this past weekend, like the harbor after a tropical storm from the Caribbean—only instead of the nasty urban water flowing, it’s beer.  And lots of it. 

Nothing brings the crowds out like a drinking festival in a historic, 200-plus year old neighborhood—with music…and knick-knacks to look at, if not purchase.  Autumn came to the annual, weekend festival as well, chasing many folks into Le Harbor Bungalow Café to warm up.

The barista wore the hat of barista on Sunday, but a day prior—along with the night prior to that—the barista played the role of bassist at Betters of Lead—a local watering hole—with The C.R. Experience.  Eight of twenty-four hours pluckin’ away and working on his first index finger blister in years.

“Hey, Curt!—I’m back in the neighborhood. Long story. Still want me to get my bass?”  The barista was excited, if not a bit jumpy. 
“Wow.  Ok, tell me later.  We got some extra time since we can’t get Billy off the stage.”  Curt motions to the barista’s right where a fellow H.B.C. patron howls into the microphone and strums his acoustic guitar.

Minutes earlier, the barista returned from his birthplace—an hour and change car ride north along the freeway—where his family celebrated the life of—while burying—his sweet, late grandmother (age 95).  A long day it was, and a long night it was to be.

As a freelance musician, the barista picks up gigs here and there from guitarists who sing and are in need of a chillin’ bassist who also can sing a tune when aforementioned guitarists need to drain their bladder for a few minutes (and/or need a smoke, etc.) because the booze they’ve been sipping to that point in the night or early morning is screaming for release and, as host, they don’t want the music to stop.

“Hey, Reg.  How ‘bout singin’ Dead Flowers?” Curt offers between songs in that dingy, narrow, dim, dive of a bar. Crissy nods, wide-eyed with approval.  The Rolling Stones country-sounding tune is a staple of the barista’s open-mic repertoire, so he nods and sets the pace.

“And I won’t forget to put roses on your graaayy---aaave…”—chills tickled the barista’s spine from tailbone to neck as he sang that final line—a line he sang dozens of dozens of times—but never as he did this night.  A feeling of being in the right place at the right time falls over the barista.  Wait—maybe that was the shot of Jaeger his buddy Rob just bought him before he strolled out through the swinging saloon doors with his cute Brazilian bride.

So not only did the barista read and act as a pallbearer at a funeral that final day of September, but he also celebrated his twin aunt and uncle’s birthday, was forced to cancel a wedding invitation from a cute cinnamon girl, but able to celebrate the anniversary of the wedding of his ole, high school and musician crony.  Things kept aligning.

“Yooo!! Me and Paula will be staying around the harbor tonight,” Rob messaged earlier that evening. “Celebrating seven years of marital bliss, dude!  If your around later, let me know and we’ll get a ‘Boh!”

So the barista finds him in the center of attention in that cramped corner of the bar with a hug on the way in and a shot on the way out.  Friends like these.  Days like this.

1 comment:

  1. I am fairly certain I have never read a paragraph about, well, draining a bladder. Oddly enough, I liked it! So not only do you get to be a 1st, you get kudos!

    I like the 3rd person barista approach. Somehow it is totally appropriate for a late-night alcohol aficionado to work the early shift making coffee.