I Can Picture the Stairs
I saw a picture on Facebook of two kids playing pool under a “Heady Topper” light at The Reservoir. Despite having spent time there on dozens of occasions, I almost didn’t recognize the place. Fact is, I haven’t climbed the stairs to the front door since moving out of Waterbury in 2013. Wow, I’m astonished to even write that; has it really been that long?
I believe it has, and I remember reaching for (and needing) the handrail almost nine years ago.
We used to meet there after work, a bunch of us, the type of group that would never get together otherwise. Just out of college, a few of us stopped in for burgers and beers after hiking Mount Hunger. The (promotional) Pabst Blue Ribbon girl gave us red, white, and blue winter hats―I still wear mine. My visions of becoming a regular at the bar―in my two years in the apartment above the garage just up the street―never materialized like I’d wanted. But I still spent more time at The Reservoir than anywhere else in town.
I know (and I have known) that there are so many activities from my past that I’ll never have the opportunity to experience again. (I wouldn’t say I’ve made peace with those losses, but they’ve become so foreign to me that it’s hard to believe they were ever possible.) But it’s a bit surreal to think there are places I might never again visit. It’s not crazy exotic locales that bother me, it’s the ones across the street. I haven’t been in the basement of my own house since several years before I moved in; I don’t even know what it looks like these days.
Of course, I could visit some of these places, and I might still. A couple of strong friends and my manual wheelchair are all it would take. But that would only serve to highlight the distance; the familiar sentimentality wouldn’t be there. Carried up the stairs and rolled to the back bar, I could never relive moments passed. I can’t quite put my finger on the feeling, I guess it’s another nostalgic goodbye.