Daggers. Icy, pointed, frozen blades reigned down from winter’s gloomy grey skies, suspended above the frozen tundra, clinging to eaves, ledges and roofs. The next day, more of the same. More of the flat, colorless, drab grey skies. Who the hell pissed the sky gods off this time?
Michigan Winters. Cold blasts of icy winds cutting like knives piercing soft flesh, so fragile and tender. Pale. Blue. Dead grey skin. The dead of winter. Where’s the fucking sun?
Seventeen days straight of this frozen hell. “Where’s my little pink umbrella for this drink,” She mutters aloud, as much to herself as the bartender. Swigging her Bahama Mama instead of sipping it ladylike, her pout as much a scowl as it was her attempt at disclosing her feigned displeasure, the young woman downed the remains of her tropical drink on that wintry, post-blizzard Monday, winter of ’78.
Sitting at a vantage point along the mahogany bar’s counter top that lined the black and blue backlit wall with glass shelves that glowed, the young woman could see who came and went through the front door. The olive-skinned girl with untamed locks of frizzy brown hair was barely drinking age by her looks though her fake I.D. said otherwise.
“Cathy”, the 16-year old who “ID’d” at 18 according to her forged State ID, sat slightly slumped, the jukebox playing her current favorite song, Turn The Page. Bob Seger was already a legend in these parts, the rocker coming from her neck of the woods within an hour of downtown Detroit.
“Main Street” at the corner tavern known as “The Anchor”, was up next on the old jukebox at the local’s favorite bar & grille, even before the “Bar & Grille” became popular. Russ the bartender was also a huge fan of Seger and so dropped the same quarters in the old jukebox over and over to hear the raspy singer crank out his rock n roll. According to the old boy, he claimed he knew Bobby, and this wasn’t far from possible as he remained close to his roots in SE Michigan and Russ was from Ann Arbor, after all, having moved to West Michigan to work for his uncle, an Alaskan explorer in his own heyday. Whether he actually did grow up with Bobby, who could say for sure? But everyone knows someone these days.
Ordering one more drink before bundling back up and heading out, Cathy stared at the glowing wall lined with various bottles of liquor, mostly mainstays as you didn’t go to “The Anchor” to order “top shelf’ drinks.
The young girl bussed tables at the local Mexican restaurant, living on tips she earned along side the wait staff on the off days she didn’t work, and eating for free on the days she did work.
It was there that she tripped over a shiny black shoe stepping out from a high-backed booth in the main dining room. The dark haired gentleman, dressed casually but seemingly elegant in his faded blue jeans with a few threadbare patches, white buttoned shirt with faded gray stripes and a black suede blazer jacket, caught her elbow and prevented her from falling completely onto the crashing, clanging dishes now sprawled on the terracotta tiled floor.
……. to be continued