I like bars; there’s a certain anonymity to them. They are places I can be around people with no obligation to talk to them. That’s the thing; I hate being alone, but I don’t actually like other people.
So, I usually find a seat at the end of the bar, pull out my laptop, and do one kind of work or another. I’m my most productive in bars; I’ve written all of my books in bars. I did most of the work for both of my MFA theses in bars. Most of my quilts have been designed on a laptop in a bar.
I’m comfortable in bars, in a way I am not in coffeeshops. Coffeeshops live in hushed tones for the most part, while there is always the potential for a raucous outburst in a bar. There is a certain tension in a bar over just where the vibe is going to go, who the next person to enter will be.
I also like the subtle interactions that are always going on, the glances, that guy three seats down who keeps giving me the side-eye. There is always something going on, even in the quietest of bars. I think that’s what I like: there is simultaneously nothing and too much going on. I easily can be distracted if I want to but can readily block it all out as none of it is of any real importance.
A bar is like a little anti-world, a laces where nothing really changes despite constant change. I guess that is true about the world at large as well, but there are actually lives at stake in the real world. In the bar the big risk is a hangover (not that I drink enough to worry about that).