The saddest song is the one I sing to myself as I eat
Consoling myself with arugula dressed in balsamic and garnished with cheese
It’s the song of my solitude, of my position at Bar 1
Its melody is tempered by the steam rising from the grilled steak
Harmony trickles into my head as I taste the salt and the fat from the fried potatoes.
Sometimes the tune doesn’t come to me until the very last ravioli is cut up, its sauce glistening in the dim light shining from the lamp above my head.
When I am completely alone, simply overcome with feeling left behind, I relish in Bar 1 or better yet, Bar 0. This is my favorite place to be.
You know me well Chef. You send out a “gift”. Your staff plies me with booze. The runners know they can bitch to me about the particular injustices of the evening.
You know me because you know that I was there once. For the best part of my life I stood on the line looking out. I knew when solo diner 7pm would show, sit at the bar, and beckon to be left alone. They would hold “court” for two hours or three. No matter how busy the room got, that one soul would be left alone. Why? Because they, I, eat well, need nothing, laugh, watch, relish, and tip without restrain.
Thanks Chef. Home now, full, a little drunk. Still spent but that overcome feeling will fade. The memories of the day will be replaced with another sound, an unsteady heartbeat and that song…its melody trickling in, one sad note after another.