Electric in the Night
It’s almost too damn garish until you realise that garish is exactly what it’s meant to be; this is not accidental or poorly-thought-out, this is not excess electricity at work or the softly-humming brainchild of a one-time manager who took his decorating tips from peacocks. This is by design. This calls out to the Friday and Saturday nights where even by nine o’clock, your boundaries and your borders have started to slip a little.
This place and all the others like it thrive on glare and dirt, on wooden bar stools and groups of people never smaller than four or five. It thrives on noise and laughter and it will not make allowances for you; you come here to seek it out, and not the other way around, and this is its leverage. This place and all the others like it stand side by side on crowded blocks and at one, two, three in the morning, they are still overflowing and noise and sound cascade out onto the streets. People still slip out the front door with Coronas in their hands to light cigarettes and watch the college girls in jeans and sleeveless tops walk by on their way to other places exactly like this. This place and all others like it have long bars and cold cases of beer stacked high in cool rooms out the back.
This is a part of a kingdom marked out by streets with Latin names and ascending numbers; where streetlights and bar signs soak into each other brightly and the sidewalks are crowded. Eateries and convenience stores stand on every corner, and cars that wait at red lights with all four seats occupied by passengers blast out music through rolled-down windows.
And maybe you might come here on a weeknight, when the place is a little emptier and a little quieter, and you might talk to the bartender about what it is you do. You might get to know the black-shirted guys with easy smiles, or the wild girls with leather straps around their wrists, while they mix your drink and ask your name and then on the weekend when the place is surging with people once again they’ll see you and remember you and you’ll know that, more so than every other patron here, this is your place, and you are part of this kingdom of drinking and laughing and letting go. For tonight, at least, and that will be enough.