The man on the rail of La Merede is pretty much your classic hipster. Poorly color-coordinated clothes, shorts with a longsleeve, with thick black rim glasses and a mustache that he constantly twirls both ends of, like a nervous spy.
He’s drinking Rainier, which somehow makes sense. Could Raindogs be taking over as the cheap shit beer of choice? Rainier has a NW connection via the name, and who can forget those classic commercials?
So the bartender gives me a bottle and says “It’s two dollars, baby.”
I have this odd moment and ask “Did you just call me baby?”
He shrugs and gives me a ‘whatevererer’ look “Two dollars, baby,” he repeats and I chuckle so he knows I’m not mocking him.
The strange thing about Rainier is that it tastes like it’s from a can, even though I’ve got a bottle. A twist-off no less and my tongue is a little startled by the strange texture of the lip of this bottle; it’s been that long since I’ve drank from such a container.
The whole bar seems like Portland in a 15×35 area. What appears to be a rotary phone is on the wall next to a touchscreen for drink orders. MD 20/20 on the wall-o-hol next to expensive tequila. (Note, I remember the MD not the tequila so I suppose that says something too.) A woman in the corner, her leftover meal wrapped in foil shaped like a tropical island, smokes from an electric cigarette–when the tip glows with an almost halogen color, I feel like I’m in the future. The isolation is there but conversation can be eavesdropped on and even eased into, if you do it right.
And if you want, there’s even better beer. But you’d better ask for it.