Monday, January 21, 2013

The Candy Store

You won’t find it if you don’t look for it. It’s easy to miss. Nestled behind the valley-  juxtaposed with the liquor store. Telephone wires line the sky and the lower middle class spread across the neighborhoods. You can find it on the corner of Lutheran and Van Ness.

But you might miss it.

It sits behind that ethnic restaurant. The family restaurant. The candy store disguised as a gentleman’s club. It says, “Tempt me but don’t go in.” It’s the place with one light flickering orange on a sign that’s barely legible.

It’s a place of comfort in the city of dreams. A town of Angels. The forgotten walk in but they don’t come out. They whisper through the haze of smoke. Through dark alleyways where their families used to be. They say, “Come in, tempt it, don’t look back.” 

It’s a cold cavern. A place of spirit-- mnemonic of what once was. It’s a whisky and coke for a dollar and an old fashioned for five. It’s where I met them dying altogether and one by one. Their faces falling apart piece-by-piece drunkenly slurring word by word. Their plastic clinging to nuts and bolts, grown old by wear, but still young at heart. Only young enough not to forget

Their delusions whittled to reality. 

Their fame coming to a post. A request by a friend. 

A settle here.

A please settle here.

I once went to a place we can only find in a valley. A place they tell of in history books.  Memories told by our fathers about the ones that lost their way. It’s a place across the street from the liquor store concealed as a gentleman’s club. It’s a place where aging musicians practice and old actors come to die.

It’s a place with a small flickering light trying to perch the way

It blinks

Tempt me…

Tempt me…

Tempt me.