There was a time I spent every lost night there, on a stool with a straw in my mouth or on the patio with a cigarette hanging from my lips…

Story and Photos By Vico LaCava - vicolacava@gmail.com

Eggshell photo©Vico LaCava

When I was seventeen, I bought a fake ID from my little brother who knew a guy, who knew a guy. I paid with the five sweaty twenties that the owner of the Dairy Queen I’d worked at slipped into my paycheck in the hopes I wouldn’t bring his hung, stupid, melted head to court for that incident involving the gushing blood and bananas. When my ID came, I bought it a new leather wallet and tried it out at a tiny local bar by where I lived in the suburbs of Los Angeles.  It was easy; I showed the guy behind a wooden panel this hundred dollar piece of plastic displaying my smiling head containing absolutely no brain, and, in exchange, I got this tall glass of iced poison that felt like lava in my throat. I frequented this bar for eight years. I had conversations of unforgettable importance with lifelong friends in torn, poorly lit booths. I made artificial bar friends too, with their bottomless wallets and Splenda smiles, and, for the first time ever, like a scientist of flailing innocence, cultured a tiny Petri plate of heightened confidence and false security in my heart. My world of tabs and rocks and proofs was erupting.

There was a time I spent every lost night there, on a stool with a straw in my mouth or on the patio with a cigarette hanging from my lips, laughing at nothing notable, getting tiny wrinkles between my eyebrows.  Eventually, I met a guy with an alcohol problem it took me years to diagnose and I started bringing him there, mostly so he would drive, though it never really deterred him from drinking, and he would make my wrinkles bigger, slowly, the frown ones, not the laugh ones, until one day I left him at the bar and walked home in a metaphorical and physical fit of darkness.

Burn it Down photo©Vico Lacava

My life is fluid and so, eventually, I all but forgot about that red and white stripped bar. I moved on to things bigger than bottles and deeper than buckets, but still dropped in on occasion for familiarity and memory and buffalo wings and permanent discounts and to see my name engraved on a gold plaque above the second to last bar-stool on the left as proof that I exist, I existed, and I will continue to exist, if no where else, right there, for eternity.

Today, a mini forklift, of which the official name I do not know, tore the shit out of the front door of this bar. The sign with the bar’s name was smashed to hell, the light switches were down, the wells were empty. There was a sign on the window I did not bother to read as I drove past at infinity miles an hour to kiss the forehead of a man who excels at stretching my laugh lines.

The local newspaper says that, in a few weeks, an omelet house will open in the shell of my runny youth.

2 Responses to “Closure”

  1. just ash says:

    very entertaining story for my dull day of being glued to an office chair, which is broken. thanks vic

  2. Ashlyn says:

    God, I feel like I should be taking notes! Great work