Saturday, September 5, 2015

July 10, 2015, Wilbo Engaged the Lives of Seven Different Men, Making Wilbo A Man Among Men.

Today, the weather grew hot enough to be annoying and I repaired to the cool interior of Pigeon Hill Brewing Company to talk with five friends, each a man from an aspect of my life. One gave me a chiding for ordering a hard cider kept on tap, bonded from the oak barrels of Vander Mills Cider Mill, and I'll never order it again within his earshot. But I love the Greenman Cider off tap at Fetch and the Michigan Melody white wine by the glass at Unruly. I will reoffend but outside his awareness. The second pour I ordered off his board, his brewing, the Oatmeal Creme Stout, creamy head thanks to Nitrogen. I wanted to hold up the beer as evidence that I had gotten with the program but he slipped out the tap room door at that very moment. Another I had to ask to move one chair closer as I was feeling whiplash listening to him, my head turned all the way to the left. All I could see besides him was the brewing room until he moved next to me. I had introduced him to a ready and willing client of his legal service this week and this client had arranged a blind date, a successful blind date, for him. I didn't ask the date's name as the man has zipped lips that not even liquor can loosen. It's the second time in a year that I connected him wife a client and a great partner for love and adventure. Problem appeared in his story as we talked. He has plans to move out of town, just waiting to hear news. So I'll have to develop another bro to take his place.

I was less than a mate with two men. We had agreed to meet at Pigeon Hill for a beer-thirty and arranged to slip out of work early. We all have chipped in plenty of casual overtime in the cold months so an hour early to engage the sun was deserved. I slipped out before the two and caught what I had thought would be a quick nap. It turned into a black hole, and I was awakened by the two texting me from the tap room, calling me an asshole, deserved. So I hurried to the tap room to find the two men from work gone. So to one I asked questions by text, like "When did you leave?" To the second, I groveled and shucked and eventually saw an opening to forgivess. Nothing like screwing up male friendships by allowing a fifteen minute nap to grow into an hour by failing to set an alarm. But really. The two had one another to keep up chat as they downed pints, so was I really that essential?

My fifth friend wandered in as my secret keeping friend drained his beer and headed off for dinner at The Deck, just that, a wooden expanse of deck and a beach restaurant and a unrivaled view of Lake Michigan. I declined an invite to go with him as I planned a night's writing and an evening at The Deck must last until sunset, the unreal sunsets over the north Muskegon pier. With friend five, he opened up about a woman he knew as a much younger man who has opened up a new conversation with him. He sorted through the pieces from years ago as I listened, as candid as my other friend had been secretive. Then he excused himself to return to the concert in the park. Called Parties in the Park, he had two friends who were touring the states, and he hasn't seen these European friends in years.

Maybe I can raise my count to seven. Driving to Pigeon Hill, I saw a friend pedaling home with a meditative look on his face, his big Ford truck pulling Barbecue equipment somewhere. He didn't recognize my car or me and honking my horn would have snapped that meditative state.

My bartender at the Lake House has called me by name for the first time and this is the second time I have sat across the bar from him. He had a spare moment, and he told me how a Muskegon couple visiting the Virgin Isles met him at his bar, then talked him into trying the summer season on Lake Muskegon. So he's working until Labor Day and the next invite to work a vacationer spot. Nice life if one can arrange it.

He had a big night at the Lake House, the patio tables full all day long from lunch until sundown, the marina deck tables thronging too. Ironic, though, that tiki torches chase off mosquitoes and bier garten heaters are required to chase off the chill of this Midsummer Night Dream.

Counted them, seven men: not exactly Jesus and his disciples and yet, counted them, seven men.

The bell of the High School built by Charles Hackley when William McKinley was president has tolled twelve times.
 — at Lake House Waterfront Grille.

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