Do you remember when this bar was sticky? The floors, the walls, the air was sticky? A bar so sticky that each time you walked in, across the Axminster tongue, rough as a cat’s, you sat at the bar and even just sitting down in that moist dirty air felt like you were putting your hand down the back of your alcoholic aunt’s couch. The walls were filmy, like some old share house kitchen with no overhead exhaust, the trackmark watermarks of last Friday’s threshing bodies streaking the paint with drunk late at night tears. And the street was sticky then too. No ironic retro furnishings, stylish nondescript fashion and restaurants that served watercress foam then, the street was full of junkies walking up and down going everywhere nowhere in a great tearing hurry and fighting like only junkies can do, a lank haired girl with Joni Mitchell cheekbones stamping her legs down in staccato punches five steps behind an acne-scarred man in a FILA windcheater who’s yelling “fuck that Krista, fuck that ya fucking bitch”. Remember when this bar was sticky? Before we wiped life beautifully clean, on the street they asked you if you were chasing, and inside, on Thursday nights, they asked you if you were gay or just gay enough. And I wore white singlets with denim skirts and a belt made from an embroidered guitar strap and tried not to look out of place or just so reprehensibly straight standing beside a 6’3″ goth with four syringe points threaded into the skin on this cheek. They played No Doubt and I was filled with them, I wanted a really cool pair of Doc Martens and someone to tell me they loved me and if they didn’t love me they could tell me that they liked me and if they didn’t like me they could tell me that they wanted me. My back against the wall with its moist palmprints fading, feet adhered to the cat tongue carpet, their hand reaching to the dusty, seamy crevasses of me. Do you remember when this bar was sticky?
It was March 2002 and you said, “You made me happy last night and I have been sad lately”.
Some nights I remember as if they were the only ones when I was actually alive.