I am befouled!
It is years beyond count since I found myself in a smoky bar. And everyone but me was smoking a cigarette or was briefly between their previous cigarette and their next. I left reeking of ash like an orphan boy sweeping out a foundry furnace.
When I entered said tavern the barmaid looked almost guilty, as if I might rat them out for allowing smoking in a public establishment. But then I remembered I was not in New York City and perhaps this was all perfectly legal.
In fact, it was the drinking that was shameful, since this was a dry county until not that long ago and the very premises, but a block from the old Moravian church in Nazareth, PA, was singularly frowned upon by the town elders and ultimately closed, at least for a time. It might as well have slid down the hill to the state route, since it has sunken so from its former dive bar charm.
Their only beer choices on tap were Bud, Bud Light, and Old Town Light. Their only scotch was Dewar’s and Johnny Walker Red, which filled an Old Fashion glass for $7, not to be outdone by the $2.50 bottle of Yuengling.
‘Twas sufficient to ease the pains of this very long day, which had me playing and squawking my way through my eleventh guitar demonstration video at 1:30 AM at Maury’s Music, in Coaldale, followed by my fingertips oooing and ouching their way through my first video session with a new 2018 Martin guitar model at the Martin factory in Nazareth a few hours later.
The final session ended a little before 5 PM and after a wonderful sushi dinner with Maury, he went back to Coaldale and I found myself in the farthest corner of the nearest smoker.
But things are much improved, now that I have aired out a bit from the smoking lounge, and I walked back through the icy air to the Classic Victorian Estate Inn, where I had been upgraded to the best bedroom, the occupant of my original room having extended their stay.
After a very hot shower, I now sit in a comfortable chair in a wonderfully weighty terrycloth robe and silk pajamas, with a lusciously flavorful glass of complementary sherry. All that is missing is some Persian slippers.
After I make sure I do not need to re-shoot any video from today, I shall paint my hands in Penetrex, the best Arnica Montana delivery device I have yet found, and retire.
The newly redesigned Martin D-45 2018 is awaiting me at Martin, next to my microphones still set in place, the guitar’s case still wrapped in a clear plastic bag after its release from Final Inspection.
But I can still smell oily tobacco smoke sending its free radicals my way from the bag across the room. Alas that it is far too cold to open a window. First world problems indeed.