rhythma - sean michael imler

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Rhythma Blog

American Beauty and The Poet & Patriot

I was staying in a very large and extravagant hotel somewhere. I think the situation was music related and my mom was there. The day before we were concluding our stay, a large film crew checked in. They were there to film a new version of American Beauty, but with the edginess of The Virgin Suicides. I ended up in a clothing shop of some sort along the lines of Abercrombie and Fitch, the kind of place where you’d shop if you were 18 and had wealthy parents. I was laying back on a long cushioned bench chatting with my mom when a young Norwegian man and woman walked in and sat nearby. Both were very pale, slender and blond and had that Northern European character of everything having a proper place about them. As it turns out, the couple were working for wardrobe for the movie. The young man wanted me to try on a shirt for him because he was unsure of the size and whether it would fit whomever he was dressing. It was a polo style shirt with royal blue and white horizontal stripes. I told him I was a medium, but he wanted to see how the large would fit me. I took it and went into the dressing room which was more like a bedroom. There were benches, clothing hanging on the walls, and there was a salesperson in there. The shirt the young man had given me was part of a package; a hat, belt, and some other accoutrement all hanging from the same hanger. The salesperson was upset that I was trying to dismantle this set to get the shirt off just to try it on and insisted on finding the shirt apart from the package. She looked around the room and became exasperated at not finding the shirt in there.

Next thing I know, I’m in The Poet & Patriot in Santa Cruz. I’m walking thru the bar with a bicycle, thru a group of performers. I realize that they having an open mic and I’m thinking of checking in to see if I can play a song or two. I walk toward the bar and have this knowledge that the bar is different than I know it to be, that the beer is served deeper into the back instead of the bar that I’m accustomed to. As I proceed toward the back, I’m stopped by a young brunette twenty something with a clipboard who insists that I can’t proceed with the bicycle. I ask her why not and she starts talking about the number 1, and examining her clipboard. She finally acquiesces because she can’t give me a justifiable reason why I can’t proceed to the bar with the bicycle. So, I walk to the back and the bar is similar to a horse stable with corrals on both sides of the room. On the right were three of these where the dividing walls had been removed and there was a menu up above. In the corrals were large kegs where the beer was stored. There were all boutique beers. I recall looking for Newcastle but it wasn’t there. I settled on a beer with a green label that looked similar to Sierra Nevada, but I don’t recall the brewer, but the name of the beer was something like Bright Buffalo at Wounded Knee. It was a light ale which isn’t something I’d normally go after, preferring dark ales and porters, but it seemed to fit for some reason. I could order at the time because the servers were all in a corral on the left side of the room filling beers so I walked over to the wall to the left of them where there were rows of shelves filled with elaborate steins. On in particular caught my eye. It wasn’t particularly large but it had a button on the handle that activated a top the slid back allowing just enough space to sip the beer from the stein. I picked up the stein to examine the mechanics of this mechanism and see how hard it was to clean. I was impressed with it and it’s emerald green colour and decided to get it. I proceeded over to the other side to get the beer and asked the server who was now present how much it was. He wasn’t sure whether this was my stein or whether I wanted to purchase it. I told him I was interested in the stein the the light ale on the sign to me left, so he walked over to a cash register, punched in something and told me that it would be $3.50. I said, “I’ll take it,” surprised at the lost cost of the item. A guy had perched next to me at the bar so while the guy was filling my beer, I told him about the film crew in town to remake American Beauty but it didn’t appear to know about the original. I reflected on how many people have so little knowledge of the brief past.

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