Last night was Pub Night at the rehab centre.
It took place in the same generic, over-lit space that all our social events take place, and the “bar” itself was a few cafeteria tables that had been pushed together, upon which was a scattering of paper plates with a few potato chips and cheesies on them. If you had gotten a note from the doctor you were allowed to get half a glass of wine or beer, but most of us had forgotten to do so, and settled for a ginger ale.
More cafeteria tables, also pushed together, formed a U in front of a small stage upon which a band was playing. Many of the men watching, arms crossed as if judging the music, perhaps even their circumstance, sat as far away as possible. It was as if their bodies were clenched, resisting both the music and all that lay before them. Meanwhile, the women seemed entirely receptive and accepting. Happily fanned out to the side tables, closer to the band, they sat swaying to the music and singing along together. It was beautiful to see, and it was hard not to imagine them all fifty years earlier out on a Saturday night in some smokey dance hall, each one of them a vibrant and glowing presence, each one desired– their entire lives still waiting to unfold mysteriously before them.