April 12, 2008

Rosie Teagarden's bar and grill was a regular for the beatniks and whodads back in its day, but today, it was only a mere shell of what it was before. Rosie Teagarden died of cancer in 1984 and her two boys sold the store to a restaurant enthauist who apparently adored the place, but the next thing you know, walls are knocked out, new chairs, replacement of all the historical photos on the walls with what looked like rejects from an art academy. The place was popular but the patrons obviously knew nothing of the heritage that Rosie's had. Last time I had gone, I stood dismayed in the door frame of the restaurant for about a minute before someone had pushed me in and out of the way. I woke up. This was a world rotted out underneath the gilt paint.

Jackson Thorre had bought Rosie's after a dinner he had there in 1983 which he claimed was magnificent. I knew Rosie was an amazing cook, but I had very little faith in this reclaimed place. Rosie's special was fish and chips. It was quick, cheap and easy to make. She would fry them in a pot of oil on the stove, then throw it into newsprint and serve it in a basket. Here, everything came on an oversized plate with cutlery that seem to fight the contour of your hand. I couldn't stand it.

I met with Thorre after an unpleasant evening to talk with him about the horrendous changes he had made. He was impenetrable in getting ideas and a single word in. He butted in when he liked and he most certainly had the look of death in his eyes more than one occasion. He left and so did I. I looked around the place, there was nothing I could discern except for an imaginary footprint of the past. The stage was over there, my buddies and I always sat at that table where that coat rack is and there was a column in the middle that supported all the weight that was covered in carvings. Wait, it still was though. But most had been filled in when they were plastered with paint. I could still see the rifts and cuts where names of numerous poets had been carved in, sometimes by the muse himself. In the day, there wern't as many female poets who like the Atmosphere of Rosie's. Wait, I know I had carved something. Where was it? It was above the queen frame.

The only scratch marks that wern't painted where the ones above the queen frame. Apparently, Thorre wanted some weird pub look. But I could clearly see what I carved. But as clear as it looked, it was illegible. For certain reasons, I would not ask that monkey of an owner to bring a ladder so I could examine his king post, nor was climbing around on the frame while other diners were still eating would be in good taste. I wanted to know what I carved.

I came back to Bastard Rosie's later in the week, but with a digital camera this time. I took 10 photos of it to make sure I didn't end with a bad image, but none worked. I attempted with mirrors, also did not work. Pretending to be scared by something then jumping onto the lower half of the king post didn't either. I gave up. I started coming almost religiously. Much better than their regular patrons. Only now did I start to spend my entire lunch just staring at the cryptic self-inflicted message.

Wednesday, the place was repainted, and the column filled in. It was gone. For good.

1 comment:

chigaijin said...

Interesting...it could use expansion in the "attempt-to-see-the-scratches" paragraph.

Feels a bit like a single chapter in a book of vignettes from someone's life.

...that will then be referred to twenty chapters later.