Losing a loved one is always rough. There is no way to describe this, and I am pretty sure universally that can be agreed upon. In some ways though I do believe that losing an acquaintance can be even more rough. Because we knew them, and maybe just because it was not well does not necessarily mean that they did not hold a place in our heart, that they did not affect our life in a way. Yet the people around us who knew them better we feel have right to grieve harder or more. It’s a messy complicated situation. What about the loss though, of a beloved place?
This past weekend I was visiting a friend who had moved to Pittsburgh from our small cliquey town the weekend prier. My last day spent there was when I received the news. Though before we go to details on the matter let me back up. About three years ago I moved back to this small up and coming town that I had essentially grown up in. After my 21st birthday I had found this corner bar downtown that had slowly become my second home. From being shit broke and spending my weekday afternoons there alone with a notebook and the cheapest beer possible trying my damndest to make it last to the local shows booked there that gave me so much inspiration.
This bar slowly over the years became the town itself to me. This is the place I have met all of my fellow artist/musician friends. This is the place I watched so many talented people get their start. This place is where I met the best father figure I ever had. This place is where I met the love of my life. This place was for the outcasts. The misunderstood. The free thinkers…and this place welcomed them all and every time we were all there where we came from and what we did with our lives didn’t matter anymore. It bred a sense comradery and boy do we look out for own. A sense of acceptance. There is no complete way to describe the atmosphere of this place, no complete way to describe what it has done for so many people in this town, and there of course is only person who can be thanked for this…the owner.
I knew him, obviously. This place was my home away from home…but I didn’t KNOW him. So on Sunday when I got the news about the bar closing due to him being in the hospital…when I got the news that it wasn’t looking too good…my heart literally sank. I have been spending my time since wondering the correct way to go about grieving him…and the bar that was an extension of who he is. It’s a struggle, but this is my start:
To us many outcasts who found a sanctuary in this place, our hearts our heavy right now. We may not have known you on a super personal level good sir, but you have touched us all in a way that will never be forgotten. The memories we hold in that bar will never be able to be replaced and for the weeks to come we will gather elsewhere in this town but we will exchange stories on your behalf and, well as the one ringleader of a musician would sing, ”drink to celebrate your life.” We thank you. We will miss you.
Lexi Spino is a 24 year old poet from the small sad town of York, PA. When she isn’t writing or slaying burritos at the locally owned shop Roburritos, she is moshing around local punk shows, running around like a five year old with her daughter, and judging/supporting other people’s art. She is currently in the middle of editing and publishing her second poetry book [her first one called I’m A Wanderer, Not A Runaway is still for sale though limited supply] and is also working on a novel that will most likely never be finished. Follow her on instagram at lexi.spino for upcoming shows and info on her second book, as well as witty one liners and drunk short poems. You can also find her on facebook at www.facebook.com/lexi.spino.