Luck is a funny thing. Sure, some people would say that there’s no such thing as luck but I have to say, though my worldly experience isn’t quite up with the masters, every so often you get lucky.
So it is tonight, walking into the Tanker. I’ve not ventured far in an effort to avoid the cold Portland streets. Weathermen are advising we all stay indoors and hide. I’m more about avoiding other people’s lousy driving and fear of ice than I am about not facing icy conditions but there’s also something to be said for not tempting fate.
I walk into the bar, stepping past two outdoor smokers as I do so, to find an empty space on the rail. Two glasses of some kind of lager are nearby but they are without owners. The lager is not going to be the good kind–call it instinct. Instead, a man with a outdoor vest and a beard is at the bar waiting to order. So when he gets a Lompoc Special Draft, so do I.
Easiest pick ever. Shortly after I’m served, the two smokers return to the bar, older, football fans smelling of old smoke and hunched over the bar like defeat. I’m actually a little sorry I didn’t get a chance to ask them what they were drinking, though my palate is happier I came into the bar when I did.
Most everyone is watching TV in one form or another, or they have raised their voice so much in order to cut through the visual noise and ensure that attention is being directed their way. It’s ok; the Tanker is that kind of bar, geared for loud, boisterous behavior. I notice there are video poker machines now–sad. Seems like a bar has more character when there isn’t video poker. Then again, the poker is offset by the murals of men fighting Godzilla on the wall; gangsters with berets, beards and Barettas trying to mug giant lizards about to stomp bridges. So I have to let the poker machines slide. Art is cooler.
My LSD is pretty tasty too, toffee flavors and a touch viscous, though there is a strange feeling on the aftertaste, as though there was a tiny hint of chalk. That’s probably just my brain short circuiting though, so let’s not mark Lomboc down for this. Besides, it isn’t making my beer taste bad so the heck with it; I’ll take a good beer with a strange moment any day over bad brews with a strange one.