[The following is a writing experiment. I went to a nearby bar last night named Kings and drank and wrote and this is what happened.]
Dark wood floors match the rest of the place. The ceiling is black and there is a real or not real, I can’t tell from here, sturgeon fish? mounted on the brick wall by the front windows. That late afternoon, pre-summer light streams in. The bar has chrome with maroon cushioned stools, the kind screwed into the floor. Maybe it’s retro. Like the two Skeeball machines under the moose head on the back wall – also brick.
(I think the bartender just bought me a drink? Not sure. Maybe he’s too busy or lazy to look up my tab. Plugs in earlobes make for a fair deal of judgement from my end, but thanks, bro!)
Everyone who works here speed walks. I spy old things. Old beer cans neatly arranged in a wooden cubby, at least twelve taxidermic specimens on the – have I mentioned? – brick walls and I am sipping my beer beneath a plastered acre of curling black and white photographs. I’m guessing someone retrieved them from every antique store in the city.
I hear the Ramones, Blondie, T.Rex, The Breeders playing on the stereo and the bartender girl who took forever to get my IPA is wearing denim overalls. Those aren’t as old as the other things (who knows what year that moose was born in,) but you get what I’m trying to say, right?
All people are backlit from where I am sitting. I stare at them, hard, until they come close and walk past me to see what they’re like. I’m sure I’m something of an enigma – I am in my bike gear (spandex leggings, heather grey athletic shirt, kelly green running shoes) and I am sitting cross-legged in a booth to myself with my fancy-pants MacBook Pro, typing. I probably have a look of consternation (check to make sure that that is a word and that it’s appropriate for this sentence) on my face. I suppose it’s true, that thing dad taught me about not giving a rat’s fanny.
Things that are to be expected about this place due to it’s location in not only Seattle, but in “bAlLaRd like what you live there with all the other white people and aging hipsters? I am going out of my way to imply a DOUBLE UGH for you!”
- White people
- Skinny jeans
- Vintage style
- Bros with long hair (not mid 60’s hippie long, more like just reaching shoulder length)
- Bartender girls with denim overalls
- Fancy glasses
- Stretched ear lobes
The part about this place that just tickles me is the people who are totally normal. Like that guy. Middle age, salt-and-pepper cropped hair, not too tall. Lemon chiffon yellow polo, jeans, beer belly. Whatever are you doing here? I don’t care. I like you for it.
(Oh man. I’m nearly to the bottom of my second IPA and I just might be drunk. My idea was to have “beer for dinner” because I have nothing else planned. I suppose this is what happens when you do that.)
Some more things:
- Plaid (do I even need to write that down?)
- Baby Bangs (straight or side-swept. Gosh, I remember my years of sporting bangs and they are Annoying. Always getting greasy and stringy. All for some sort of style or way of signifying that you belong to something. The sign and the signifier! De Saussure! I miss the likes of him. They don’t come up much in the nine to five world, even in Seattle.)
Drinking solo is an interesting thing. My face tingles and I have energy I want to expound onto someone or something, I can’t just sit here and stare into the bottom of my glass like they always talk about how people do in literature or in the movies. I guess that just means I’m not a sad sack alcoholic.
- Flat brimmed baseball caps, often black
- Square sunglasses (like the ones perched atop my own head right now)
But let’s see more about what it’s like here. It’s getting busier. Happy Hour ended six minutes ago. People still walk around fast. Maybe I’ll go now.
See you next time.
I left a one hundred percent tip on a three dollar tab and walked out the door to locate my bike. It became a good idea to buy Jalapeno Jack potato chips and cookie dough ice cream. I walked my bike the mile and a half home, all the while cramming said potato chips into my face.
I want it to be clear that I am genuinely fond Kings, I’m not just selling it out for the sake of selling it out. (I’m a writer and writers are always selling somebody out, it’s our M.O., for better or for worse.)
Kings is a spacious place and I can do things like go there in my bike clothes and sit cross-legged in a booth. This is probably another reason why I belong on the West Coast. Kings has it’s schtick, yes, but it’s not a stick-up-the-bum kind of schtick like some of these other places with their innovative cocktails and artisan menus.
Seattle is hipster-y and one has two choices about that: 1) live in a chronic state of annoyance or 2) move on with your life.
Hipsters are here, but I think we’ll be alright.