In case you didn’t know, happy hour is a magical time. Sitting at the bar at the Rose and Thorn you could look out last the smoke-smudged glass to the congested highway and beyond that to the radiant sky above the harbor. Winters found us watching the sunset around 4 pm. In the summer it was still so bright outside it wasn’t uncommon to see spots for a solid five minutes after walking into that embracing dark.
When I met Seth, something fundamental in me shattered as quickly as a mirror at which an angry bar patron lobbed a welk-aimed shot glass. Before Seth, I was usually home by 7 pm and I never kept booze in the apartment. Now we stayed out drinking well past happy hour, often shooting pool until 9 or 10. On our way home we bought a bottle of cheap wine, then watched TV or a movie while we drank. Dinner, if we had any, was an afterthought.
The nights at home with just the two of us often ended in fights. But those few previous hours at the bar were golden. The magical times between 3 and 6 pm when we regulars came together like a holy brotherhood to partake of the libations offered us. It didn’t matter what disasters befell us that day, what annoyances or ongoing grievances we’d experienced at home or at work. Once we’d had a cocktail or two and were able to bask in the glow of one another’s company, this—our merry band of regulars—blossomed in the neon beer sign lights and came to life.