“The bar lights and the liquor

And the way all the bottles, they shine

Well I got five more dollars, drink another

You’ll feel fine
You’ll feel fine
You’ll feel fine

The bar lights, and the women
The empty pool hall, and you and I

Well I got five more dollars, drink another
You’ll feel fine
You’ll feel fine
You’ll feel fine

Write your name down on a matchbook sleeve
Call me up on Sunday for a drink
Call me up on Sunday, call me anything

The bar lights and the liquor
The way all the bottles, they shine

Well I’ve got five more dollars, that wont make you mine

That won’t make you mine
That won’t make you mine”

~Bar Lights
Whiskeytown, Demo/Pneumonia

I’ve been obsessed with Whiskeytown’s “Pneumonia” lately, after buying the CD for $4 at the used record store on Park Ave back home. This song immediately struck me (though this is a demo version, in the LP the guitar melody is done on violin), it plays in my head on repeat. Just a perfect sad little ode to the meaningful moments mixed in the ordinary down-on-luck scenes.

It reminds me a lot of those summer nights at the Pickering, that dingy place with its good people and cheap tequila shots, perfect for lusting across the plywood tables. Every Thursday was open mic, and every Thursday was a party, sometimes followed by round two at the cottage down in Vine Valley. There, I had no cell service and it felt like 1969, an endless haze of debauchery and music and crickets serenading through the screened-off windows. Those were good times, those were much-needed to snap myself out of my head, but it was all so fleeting – everyone’s moved away and Thursday nights at the Pub are now trivia contests, from what I’ve heard.

Of course, my favorite memories to shake out of that summer are the ones that only went so far, the ones that were only meant to exist in a time and place suspended from the rest of my reality (despite pathetic efforts). There’s a certain sadness for love that’s lost and gone untapped, when you know it could’ve been even more of a ride if only circumstances were a little more forgiving, but it’s not much worth much to dwell on. It happened, in its own way, even if it was just for a moment or two under the right lights.