Beginnings and endings. Because the girl sets the tables. But nobody will be eating there tomorrow. Because five years ago, you walked into this bar on its opening night. And because last night, it closed its doors for the last time. In one more instant gone.
And the old faces. Some were there from the beginning. And others came in over the years. And still there were those there before the beginning. Before you knew that this place would exist. Before these people would come into your life and change how you see yourself and those around you. Beautiful faces that you won’t see again. Because for some the place was your only connection.
“Bookends.” Someone will say to you.
“Bookends.” You will agree.
And then you will talk about San Diego and how the conversation feels so familiar now. Because in other places the weather is cold, but the people are warm. But in San Diego the weather is warm, but the people are cold. And it is hard to find a place to call home for a while. But this place was that to you.
A place filled with memories. Warm nights and foggy nights. Drunkenly washing down tables. Calimari and crème brûlée. And meeting friends for last call after midnight flights and the greasy chinese food afterwards. The girl you knew who was an optimist and sharing a glass of wine after closing. The type of girl a friend says that you can’t hang on to. The type of place that you can’t hang on to. But you will keep trying anyways. And breakfast and karaoke. And a close DJ friend that had nothing to do with the karaoke.
“Bookends.” You silently repeat. And so you say your goodbyes.
“Bookends.” You murmur to yourself again as you walk out the door. It is well past closing now and the sign is dark and it won’t be lighting up again.
“Bookends.” You murmur to yourself the next day remembering.
And so the tables are cleared. The chairs are straightened and set for another day. The bar is washed down, but for the few glasses we are still drinking from.
“Respect.” The girl setting the tables says to you.
“Respect.” You agree. And you find yourself understanding because you’ll miss it just as much.