I am here and I am not here.
I’m in Spokane for the week and with my sister, I’ve come to the Viking to hang out with people and catch up. My sister is here to do the same, except she’s going to dominate the shuffleboard table too.
What can I tell you about the Viking, really? It has no windows. It’s been around since my parents went to college and it’s been one of the few bars in Spokane to push craft beers of any sort , at least since I started drinking. It has a disturbing level of beer and sports pennants hanging from the every possible fixture that could have one attached. And they give you a bowl of free popcorn.
It’s that kind of place: the kind that might’ve considered being pretentious but decided, eh, fuck it, here’s beer. So it’s not so bad, really.
I start out with a Sockeye porter which is pretty darn tasty but switch soon to Iron Goat’s pale ale, brought to me by my friend Aaron because he insists it’s the best beer there. I don’t have cause to doubt him, as it’s very, very good. But Sockeye is good beer from Idaho! That is a kind of wonder unto itself.
Yet I am also not here. I am in Portland, I am telling my story to people who haven’t seen me in a while and my story isn’t new it isn’t in Spokane, either. I do my best not to live in my story while I am telling it (it has been a rough year) but it is the nature of stories to compel us into the moment of their narrative.
So I ask for their stories instead. Businesses, moving, children, how to navigate a new or an old-but-new relationship, or any relationship, really; all kinds of things to discuss. It is a good evening, with (mostly) good beers. I’ll tell you all about what I had this week, promise.
I don’t get a picture of any of my drinks this evening though, which is disappointing. It is an oversight but that happens when visiting.