R & R

“What’s your name again?” the old guy said, as he’s said every Friday for the three plus years I’ve worked at this place. “How’s Emily, that other girl who worked with you? She’s so nice, I kept telling her if only she was twenty years older, she could’ve married one of my sons.”

“Uh huh,” I say through gritted teeth, the bar towel clenched in my hand. “Oh, there’s another customer who needs my help down there!” I say, and head to the other end of the bar to keep myself from smashing a pint glass and grinding the jagged edge into the old guy’s neck.

The old guy is so boring, if he recovered from my attack, I’m 100% sure he’d be putting people on bar stools to sleep with the story in no time:

“And then she came at me, I can’t remember what her name was, but it reminded me of the time I used to live in Hawaii, did I tell you about that yet? Well you see, back when I was in the navy, before I worked for the post office…”

Yes, it’s time I took a break from this place. I’m headed to Nashville for a few days. I don’t even have a big plan, aside from seeing the Johnny Cash/Bob Dylan exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, and tagging along on my friend Bill DeMain’s Nashville walking tour. I’m sure I’ll hear some music, and eat something fried.

And Eric’s Nashville show, I’ll be there for that and to make the long drive back home with him.

This is the first time I’ve gone to Nashville without a guitar. It feels weird, but free. I almost feel like a normal person.  It reminds me of that time I stopped at a Cracker Barrel, and they were piping old country music into the rest rooms, and I went and bought some of those striped pieces of hard candy in a paper sack…

Hello, hey wait – where’s everyone going?


12 thoughts on “R & R

    1. amyrigby

      I wish there was something I could report about Cracker Barrel, it’s been years since I went to those places. Maybe my time in Nashville will revive some memories.

      1. Hal Davis

        I wanted to know, what old country music was piped into the rest rooms? What kind of striped pieces of hard candy were in the paper sack…

        You were just getting started….

  1. Steve

    Well, Gus’s Fried Chicken closed (the Memphis restaurants are still going strong). But you don’t want to miss Jack’s BBQ and Bar-B-Cutie.

    1. amyrigby

      Gus’s! Great sign, don’t know if I ever had the chicken. Hot chicken is everywhere now…there’s good Mexican & Salvadoran too..and appears to be an indie coffee roaster on every corner.

  2. John Medd

    I’d love to take my guitar to Nashville. Just once. I’d pull up a stool in that bar on the corner of Bridgestone & 9th., take it out of its, now battered, gig bag and play a couple of my songs for the bar tender and the two old guys nursing their beers at the bar. ‘Nice song’ one of them would say before turning his back on me and watching the silent baseball on the far wall. ‘Thanks’ I’d mutter, putting the guitar back into its bag, along with my faded dreams.

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