Yesterday, late afternoon, we decided to out to the pub with a friend. I had cautioned everyone that, though we go there fairly regularly, we hadn't been in months and I had no idea if, considering Christmas decorations, I'd be able to get in. It isn't a big place so I could imagine one tree taking out complete access. We came up the sidewalk and some of the men in the window, men who I only know as nodding acquaintances, saw me coming. Action started before we reached the entrance.
They had put a small table in the vestibule to create space for the tree, beside the table was a snow shovel and a bucket of sand and gravel mix. No way I could get in. But Joe and Mike and the other pulled together and in less than a couple of minutes I had entrance. I got in and turned to see the bar packed full. Every table was taken. Someone I knew from long ago suggested we pull up beside the buffet table and use the corner of his table. Within seconds we were in space. It took about five minutes for me to get over the sensation that I was in the way for people needed to get to the buffet table or the toilets which were down the long hallway behind me. But I was in.
We had visited David's Tea and I had two cups of hot tea on the table in front of me. One a lovely sencha tea and the other a milky oolong. Beer was purchased for everywhere else and soon we disappeared into the atmosphere of the place just chatting and laughing and telling stories that were bigger than life but smaller than lies. It was fun. I hadn't noticed that the bar had grown even fuller in the time we were there.
This is a place where we tend to visit earlier in the afternoon when it is much less than full, I looked at the way to the door, full of people chatting. It's a bar where the primary customer base is, like Joe and I, gay men of a particular age. So we started, as soon as the guys saw me coming they were off their chairs and moving things around, creating an exit that we easy to make. It was kind of the gay bar version of the parting of the red sea. Everyone wished upon us a happy new year, and we wished it back. I got to the vestibule which was hung with bamboo curtains to help keep out the cold. I'd have to get through those, and turn an immediate and sharp left to then get out the main doors. I had two men holding curtains, another one holding the door and another one asking people to wait while I got outside.
I waved 'thanks' and got a myriad of voices, some slightly slurred, wishing me a good evening.
It was awesome.
It was my 61th Christmas on this earth and I finally understand why everyone is asked to don gay apparrel.