29 June 2013

Nothing good came from the Closter Rec

Awhile back I was on Facebook on a page dedicated to the town I grew up in. Many of the people on that page are ten to twenty years older then me and I really can't relate to much they say. Some times though, a conversation will stir some old memories of past happy times.  And I will share my thoughts with the group on what I remember.

Sadly for me though, is how many people have fond memories of the town's old drinking establishment.  They show pictures of the bar.  A bar where I had my first “legal” drink.  They'll show the old pool table and the bowling alley in the background.

The picture though that I hate the most, that makes me physically ill, is a picture of an old phone booth inside the bar.  It just sends chills down my spine.  So many times I would call that phone begging dad to come home.  At first, I would call hoping to catch him before he got drunk.  Which was a mistake.  He would come home, angry at me and angry at mom.  He would yell and scream and eventually the hitting would start.

In time I learned that if I called I wouldn't wait for him to pick up the phone.  I would just hang up. He'd still come home angry and upset but no one would assume responsibility for the call and he'd quickly calm down.

I hated that bar.  Behind that bar on a cold February morning my mom's body was found, frozen to the ground.  A bottle of Scotch in her pocket.  She died the way she lived – drunk.

How many more families died in that bar?  I know an old girl friend's family was destroyed in that bar, as well as her own life was destroyed because of that bar.

The people on that Facebook page speak about it like it's a shrine.  To me it represents hell and I wish they would have just burnt it to the ground.  At least I can find solace in knowing that the new owners are not keeping the bar alive.  They are creating a new business but I do wonder if the ghosts of broken families from the past will haunt that building.

No bar, no pub, no tavern should become a shrine or a place of worship.  For the happiness it supposedly brings, the pain seems to linger a lot longer.

In a round about way, I needed the pain of that bar to see how special and wonderful life can be without it.  I used to know my way around any community by where it was located in reference to a bar.  Now I don't know the names of any bars or where they are located.

Thank God for sobriety and thank God for not needing the friendships found while I have a drink in my hand...