Monday, August 15, 2005
Say it ain't so Ray, Please say it ain't so
One of my closest friends in Paris used to work at my favorite bar in the world, The Fifth Bar on rue Mouffetard in Paris. It was the most wonderful coupling I could have ever imagined. I had briefly worked at the Fifth Bar the summer of my 21st birthday and loved it. The thrill of being in charge of people's alcohol consumption, entertainment and often times their sex life for a girl who couldn't even legally drink back home in Chicago was a dream come true. I will forever thank my Mom for letting me stay on in Paris instead of studying in Spain over the summer. Spain could wait, I was going to be a bartender. In Paris.
Soon after I (tearfully) left Paris to finish my studies in New York state, my friend "Ammo", started working at Fifth Bar. When I came back a year later, there she was. My best friend behind my best bar. It was perfect. And not just for the free shots and cheap drinks, but for the fact that I felt like I still had some control, some "say" in what went on in the place (at the risk of sounding unbelievably like an american on Oprah) that helped me turn into a woman. If I wasn't drinking in the Fifth, or stopping by to get my mail (yes, for awhile it was even where my bank and my mom would send me letters), I was making CD making CD mixes for the Fifth bar, which Ammo would play with gusto. We'd either whip out the pink Star Academy microphones and perform for the crowd, or get everyone supplied with "straw" mics and have a giant sing-a-long. The only requirement for entering is being able to handle your Woof Woofs. The fifth bar was my home away from home, the place I could go and be myself, loud, obnoxious, contstantly singing and drinking. Sometimes after spending a long day being the sophisticated ex-pat living in Paris, you want to let your cleavage out, your hair down, and be a cheesy, Daniel Beddingfield singing, Kylie Minogue loving American with a capital A.
Now that my dear friend is moving on to better things, a proper swanky bar, a 9 - 5 working girl kind of existence which I'm sure will make her much happier, I can't help but feeling that I'm losing a home in Paris. Like my foot hold over there is slipping. Like its the end of an era.
Ammo, Fifth Bar will miss you. Who is going to drink all the Strongbow now that you're gone?