Down at the Tavern (Where I Can Be Me)

I raise a pint,
or three or more
and greet my
friends as they
come through
the door.
We meet
most days
 
after
 
work,
 
before
 
we head home
well after dark.
We play
some darts
and pool and
such; they’re
a cool bunch
of guys
for friendly bets.
 
I
could
never
let
them
down.
 
We’re buds
you see,
while
at the
tavern,
where
I
can
be me.
 
No one
nags or
complains
or wants
all my
time;
I’m
always
happiest
when
I
drink.
 
I’m the
center
of attention;
I’m a good
‘ole
boy,
everyone
laughs
at my
corny jokes.
 
But the
wife, she
don’t like
it that I
stay out
so late
and that
our kid
doesn’t
get to
see me
much.
 
But I
feel
good
when I
have a
buzz on,
the nerves
are calmed
from the
pressures of life.
 
This is where
I’m happiest,
see,
when I’m
down at
the tavern
being me.

Victoria asks us to write a poem in the first person and use another persona (if we so wish) over at dVerse Poets for Meeting the Bar:  http://dversepoets.com/

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48 Comments

  1. Oh, that is so not you…but you took the prompt and ran with it! Made me think of Homer Simpson. :0) The line breaks added to the effect of alcoholic thinking.

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    • Oh, you are so right about that! I was trying to get across the feeling of selfishness about his love for that tavern and his drinking. It makes him feel good! 😦

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  2. Such simplicity in the poem and in the mind of the persona. Someone who wants a simple way to respond to the pressures of life and relationships.

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    • Exactly right, Georgina. It’s a simple solution to all their worries. But, of course, not really a solution at all.

      Liked by 1 person

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      • No just seems like it! We have a friend who just can’t give up his booze, very intelligent, knowledgable but his young teenage daughter has suffered greatly from this, emotionally but it goes deep.

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        • I know how that young girl feels. I patterned this story on my own father’s attachment to his favorite bar and his alcoholism. No fun growing up with a parent like that.

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
          • No, she does suffer but is now back in UK and with more family about. It would have been worse for her here in a small town in Spain. Her father’s sister has helped her with some counselling, advice but it seems no one can help her father. I really feel for you as there was so little known about the effects on children then.

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  3. I don’t know. I could have seen you as you at some of the Irish pubs I hung out in on Long Island, playing darts and being friendly. But this is really a sad poem, a good ole boy who wants to stay free and not a husband or father – always approved of and welcomed in that place where everybody knows your name.

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    • I could play darts and be friendly but I’ve never been a drinker so never really wanted to hang out in bars.

      Yeah, he’s a sad guy really. I used my father as inspiration. 😦

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  4. This is an I that I could see myself in actually.. there is some joy in a tavern like that… and of course the more home he feels at the tavern the less home he will feel at home….

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    • Yes, for sure those places can be a fun outlet but not everyday to excess and to the exclusion of your family. It becomes a little unbalanced.

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  5. You did a great job with this. I found the conclusion quite troublesome and unsatisfying, but I suppose that may be been the goal. How this poem resonates with a person I suspect depends on whether they identify with the good old boy or his wife and kids. Peace, Linda

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  6. Such a gorgeous write 🙂

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  7. Sad to say that this is the normal way some people are, just hanging out at the bar, instead of going home to the wife and kids…and responsibility. Very well written, to get the point of view of the barfly. 🙂

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  8. Such a sad tale… but you tell it in a sympathetic, understanding way.

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  9. I love the playful feel of this, which belies the sadness underneath.

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  10. A sad truth for many. You gave this man some dignity as he made his own self realizations throughout the poem.

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  11. Alcohol does absolutely nothing for me, but I do like spending time with like-minded company, where I don’t have to pretend, so I appreciate your poem.

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  12. Ha, from the number of cars in the parking lots of various taverns I pass (either day or night) it seems that there must be a lot of people that feel this way. How one can drink at 8 a.m. (for example) boggles my mind. Very sad when a tavern becomes more a home for a person than the place where family resides.

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  13. Glenn Buttkus

     /  February 26, 2016

    Taverns have been havens for centuries; once they build a following of regulars, they are flush for years. I’m not a drinker, but when single, between marriages, hung out with dozens of work friends that could use this poem as a mantra; truly sad.

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  14. Good one – I think I’ve met that guy !

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  15. Sandy

     /  February 26, 2016

    Wow, you brought back so many memories of a life I used to live. He hit the bar after work at 3:30, came home in the nick of time to eat, roughhouse with Donnie and get him all wound up, shower and go bowl. No wonder I pretended to be asleep when he came in at all hours of the night. I sure didn’t want a fight or a slobbery guilty baby on my hands. It was such a lonely life but we looked so good on the outside!

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    • Gosh, Sandy, I had no idea and I’m so sorry too. This was based on my father’s love of the local bars and his alcoholism. It was hard growing up with that man. 😦 My shame kept that secret from any friends I had.

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  16. Your words and the way in which you’ve set them out show a deep understanding of the alcoholic persona. As an adult child of alcoholic parents, I can feel the immaturity and desperation beneath the ‘cheery’ facade, the constant search for excitement and attention and the vicious, self~pitying lack of self~esteem. I remember coming home from school to a locked house and having to wait outside until they returned from the pub. Naturally I was attracted to the alcoholic personality but, when my first marriage ended (after 22 years and 2 children) I found my way to AlAnon and worked my own 12 steps. With that support I was able to not only reconcile with my mother but allow myself to love her in a way that was healthy for me. Your poem has stirred a variety of memories ~ and reminds me that I am not alone in my experience so thank you for that Gayle! 🙂

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    • Jacqueline, thank you for sharing your story with me. You had a double problem with both parents being afflicted. Although my mother was not an alcoholic, she has remained a very detached and emotionally immature mother. I too as an adult started learning more about myself as I read books on the adult children of alcoholics and attended some groups too. It helped me understand so much and that I wasn’t alone in my feelings. I was attracted to that personality too (although I didn’t know it at the time) and was married for over 25 years and with two daughters before divorcing. I’m glad you were able to achieve a healthy relationship with your mother. You’ve reminded me again too, Jacqueline…I appreciate that! :~)

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      Reply
  17. it is a disruptive story that flows very well when read. In other words, I think it is well crafted.

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  18. Ah the alcoholic who feels more comfortable on the bar stool even than in his tired old arm chair at home with the wife and kids and a beer in his hand. There’s some kind of solace and awayness in a tavern like this – an escape – free to be me but so alone in that mixture of folks, drinks, and stools.

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    • I actually preferred my father away at the bar rather than at home. Anything to keep him from home was much better for everyone. Yes, he was free to be himself down there at the bar but it was an illusion of friendship that he found there…not authentic. Thanks for your thoughts, Lillian.

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  19. I’ve not experienced this, but I know many who have. I am a social drinker, but can see how it starts out as a lazy habit and morphs into a disease…your write is straightforward and can’t be said or read enough.

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    • I think that habit of drink can sneak up on you before you realize that it’s taken over much of your life. Thank you for your support, Kathy.

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  20. This is so bitter-sweet. While I can see the perspective the one who speaks I definitely understand the heart of the wife and child…there has to be a balance to that kind of finding oneself so one can learn to find themselves at home, too! Well written, Bodhi!

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  21. I think you have really captured the spirit of the alcoholic …he feels like the drink brings out his best, but the sober onlooker sees the worst.

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  22. Anonymous

     /  March 2, 2016

    I think you were inside your father’s head for this one. Very good.

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    Reply
  23. Oh.. repression of emotions..
    from childhood.. so many
    southern boy
    fears.. now
    to express
    friendship iN
    more than
    tears
    oF
    a beer..
    most alcoholics
    are ’caused by
    folks who
    tale boys
    they
    cannot
    smile huge
    or cry deep..
    i say F.. ’em
    from long before
    and just be FeeLinG Me..
    And all alcohol and drug free..:)

    Like

    Reply

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