Over the closure of my favorite bar
| Coming to Closure|
It was an unassuming two story house, tucked away on a small side street. In better times both stories were used, but in recent years the second story was only there for storage. Molly Malone’s was a local bar, more of a pub than what we think of as bars today. It was close to the industrial park, and over the years I would walk there for an impromptu meeting after work.
I don't know about other people, but I have my places which help to define who I am and what I do. Molly's was one of those places. A little run down, normally quiet, Molly's had been a place where occassionally one of my few friends and I would go and have a pitcher and talk. I didn't go there more than once or twice a month, but the bartender who also was the owner knew me, and that helped make it a special place. Patty was a burly Irishman with a bushy mustache. He had owned the bar for the last twenty years or so.
I don’t think I ever saw more than ten people at Molly’s at any one time, and that was very rare. Of course, the one time that my department decided to throw a party there we packed the place, but we had only done that once. My secretary had called the place a dump, and since secretaries set up office parties, only once did the department go there and that time was only at my insistence. I was the department head, after all, and the good bye party was for another patron of the bar.
One day, after having been out of town and a little out of touch for two months, I proposed to a friend of mine, the same one who we had thrown the party for two years earlier, that we meet for a brew. It was then that I learned that Molly's had served its last and was on its way to becoming a parking lot. I was amazed and saddened. Seemed that Molly Malone's was going the same way as the shuttered businesses in the area. It had left on its new course and I had not even known.
We went to a "newer" bar that evening, one of a large chain. It was loud and packed. No free popcorn here, just lots of noise and ten different sports programs blaring away on monitors throughout the bar. I might come here for the food, but the stmosphere - I don't think so.
Strickly by chance, I bumped into Patty there. Ironic how faith sometimes works. He was about to go back to Ireland and look for work, tending bar. Somehow I felt better because I got to say goodbye and buy him a beer. While I had to sort of shout over the noise, it was a good moment. It was also the last time I went to that "newer" bar just for a beer.
My wife told me that it was destiny that I met Patty that night, because it allowed me to have closure with a small part of my life. I think she is right. It's funny though, of all the things that we deal with in life, this instance really moved me.
The march of time had claimed another victim. Fast food franchises and eateries, conveniently located around shopping malls, were decimating what patron traffic was left. Maybe that’s why we needed all of the new cars? We had to get to the malls somehow. Maybe I am just getting old. I don't shop for things often at a Mall.
Molly Malone’s had just gone the way of the pyramids in Egypt. Someone trying to leave a lasting memory in time, to be lost to the ages. Except this time instead of sand, Molly’s was being buried in concrete. It would not be found centuries later like the pyramids, by searchers wanting to rewrite history and looking for anything of permanence. Molly’s was now just a another fading memory, like all things in life.
I will miss the free popcorn, the quiet warmth that was once Molly Malone's, but writing about it seems to have brought it to closure.