Thursday, September 23, 2004

Dispatch from Charleston, W.V.

We're on our way to Ohio for the wedding and we've stopped here for the night. It's the capital of West Virginia, but it' shall I put this kindly? A one-horse town.

We needed a diversion before bed. Across the street from our Knight's Inn (discount motel with high-speed internet William Gibson is that?), we could see the red neon sign of a bar. We asked the front-desk guy if we were likely to get knifed there. He said no, so off we went.

The building was dual-purpose. The half that wasn't a bar was labeled "LAUNDRY MAT." The half that was a bar had a hastily corrected sign that had once said "Casino Lounge" but was painted over, in unmatched letters, to read "Nancy's Lounge" instead.

We played three games of pool and drank a couple of Makers & gingers. We had a great time. I don't really know how to describe the place except to say that it looked exactly how you'd expect it would. The glasses were plastic (to prevent "incidents," I suppose), the bartender kept ducking into the bathroom for snorts of something or other, there were Ohio State football commemorative beer posters on the wall, and the Mexican guys standing around the other pool tables were rocking out to "Sweet Home Alabama."

Wherever you are, it's just like home...