A Walk To My Brother’s Bar

It’s not a long trip at all. Just a quick hop on to the free shuttle on the 16th Street Mall. Ride that all the way to its last stop, past the trendy hipster restaurants, coffee shops, Chipotle and the Tattered Cover Bookstore in historic LoDo. Fight the temptation to get off the shuttle and drop inside, grab a tea, and walk the aisles and aisles of stacked shelves and fall into a comfy familiar old chair while disappearing into words.

Stay on the bus and the shuttle doors will close again as it moves up the mall. In the short distance you’ll soon see a monument to a pastime on Wazee. Coors Field. You can stop to catch a game, if it were baseball season. Just keep riding the shuttle.

A few more blocks and you can get off at the last stop near Union Station. Looking familiar from a postcard, or a commercial. Or was it a movie? You can stop to take a picture of it, but you’ll probably forget about in a few days. The journey continues.

You take a walk up the stairs, passing bikers pulling or pushing their bikes into the neat little grooves on the side of the staircase for their wheels, and step on to the Millennium Bridge. A tall metal tube shooting up like a ships mast into the blue Mile High sky and suspension cables holding a boardwalk and fencing over the train tracks. You pass the Locks of Love on the fence and walk down the stairs at the end of the bridge. More bike grooves here too.

Now you have a choice. You can either take the scenic route and have a nice walk through the park, past the signs reminding folks of the native history of these lands, and the concrete arena that might remind you of that scene in The Warriors. ‘CAAAN YOOOU DIG IT!?!’

Or…

You can take a left at Little Raven, walk down to 15th, take a right and head up. Either way, you get to walk over the South Platte River. You get to see it’s clear waters flowing and moving quickly through the land. Here, there’s a pause. There has to be. The view is spectacular with the river, the land, the sky and the Rocky Mountains in the distance. A welcome reward for the journey. A breath.

A short distance later up to 15th and Platte, and there it is. The destination. The purpose for your quest.

My Brother’s Bar

Billed as “The oldest bar in Denver”, it’s an unassuming joint. There is no sign out front, so you’d have to know where you were going to get there. Yes, they have food. But that’s not why you are here. You’re here, because you know that Neal and Jack used to hang out here. They once walked through that wood door on the corner with the word ‘Platte’ over it. They walked in there, sat at that long wooden bar and scrapped their cash together to order a… Well, we don’t know what they ordered. But it was booze and that’s what you’re going to order. When you finally get your drink, you sit back a little on the stool, take a look around the bar, drink in the history and fantasy of it all and take a sip.

You were there. So was Jack.

A Visualization

I’m in my seat on the plane as it flies at 30,000 feet in the cloudless blue sky over the Pacific. Endless blue above and below as I sit and enjoy my complimentary beverage and pre-packed snacks of nuts, jerky and a sandwich from a little place in the airport. I picked it up before boarding. I knew the flight would take a while, I would get hungry, and I didn’t want to wait for a palm-sized bag of peanuts. Plus, I don’t like asking for a second helping. It makes me feel a little weird. So now I pack my own snacks. Cheaper that way too.

I’m watching the ocean under the plane. For some reason, the U.S.S. Indianapolis comes to mind. Headphones in my ears and listening to a podcast about creativity and how to keep it going. Munching on my vittles and almost done with my plastic glass of Club Soda and Cranberry, I glance over at the empty seat next to me. The script is waiting. I pulled it out of my bag before takeoff so I could keep reading and studying and working on it through the flight. It’s already been flipped through, dog-eared, highlighted, underlined and marked with notes in a code only I could decipher. Mostly because my handwriting is atrocious and even I have a hard time reading it. So even if someone got their hands on it, they would have no clue as to what I have planned for my character. I pick it up as the plane continues on it’s path. The sun is setting.

I’m in my hotel room. It’s nice. It has a little kitchenette near the door, refrigerator, stove, oven, sink, cute little basket of bagged coffee and creamers and those little bags of air thin napkins and a stirring stick. There’s a huge bed. Far bigger than what I’ve ever had. It takes up most of the room and looks so comfortable. I want to crash on it after such a long flight and car ride from the hotel. I did my research before I came and saw there was a train I could take from the airport to the city. But the studio told me they would send a car. They made good on that promise. They sent a black Audi A8 with a driver in a black suit, holding my name on a tablet. Nice guy. Great driver. There’s a small couch and photo of my family on the desk by the window. I put it there before I unpacked. I always put their photo up first. There’s a sliding door that leads to the bathroom. Big bathtub near a window, that’s a little weird, but not so bad on the 35th floor. Kinda cool. A stand up shower with a rain shower head, I love that, a toilet and a… is that a bidet? That’s going to take some getting used to. But there’s going to be a lot here to get used to. Because for the next three and a half months, this is home. I walk back to the living area and to the window and pull open the blackout curtains and sheer drape. There it is.

I’m at the window in my hotel room, staring in awe of the city at night. Ancient and modern. Bright and busy. Massive skyscrapers and tiny alleys with countless shops and places to eat. There’s so much to do. So much to explore in this new and beautiful world to me. There will be time. But for now, next thing to unpack is the script. Tomorrow, the studio is sending a van to pick us up and take us to location.

I Want To See It

I want to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

I want to walk around it’s white marble and leaning arches and pretend like I’m holding it up with one hand. 

I want to see the Eiffel Tower.

I want to ride the elevator up and up and up into the sky while watching the City Of Light become smaller as I rise.

I want to see the Roman Colosseum. 

I want to walk where people once gathered to watch the spectacle of combat and imagine the Naumachiawhere the Colosseum would be flooded and naval battles held. 

I want to swim in the cerulean waters of Santorini

I want to feel the cool waters all around me and watch the white and blue and pink palette of colors on the buildings bob onshore. 

I want to see the world. 

Hear its natural sounds in the jungles and mountains. Hear the sound of a toucan call, an elephant in the distance, the crack of a glacier. 

I want to eat in cafés. 

I want to look at a menu and not know what any of it means. Then order something and enjoy the new flavors and aromas and leave not knowing what I even ate. 

I want to meet new people. 

I want to walk down a new street looking for, nothing. Then meet a local who can point me in the right direction. 

I want to learn new words. 

Food words. Swear words. Words that I can use. Some I probably shouldn’t. Words to describe the sunset. Words to say Hello/Goodbye/Thank you for letting me visit. 

I want to do all of these and more. 

But what I want to see the most, right now, is for all of us to remember to take care of each other.

To Stay Home.

             Wash our hands.

                  Wear a mask.

                     Stay 6 feet apart.

Until this, all of this, gets better. So we can see it all together.