The Tavern is a deeply philosophical story centered around Nina Simone and her boss, Eddy. Nina was a lonely woman who longed for the nothingness she once felt, and Eddy was the man who gave her the courage to live again. But their love was not a romantic love; rather, it was a love shared by two people who had been touched by death.
For, as Nina put it, “Eddy showed me that I wasn’t alone in this madness we call life. I simply knew more than the others, and this thought comforted me because I knew that my truth would become their truth someday. Nothing would be the same once they tasted death; they’d no longer fear it because they’d know it was a gift. This truth set me free.”
Ideas like this are the center point of the story, and they really make you look at life and death in a different, more abstract light. How does one find the courage to live once they’ve tasted the sweetness of death? That’s the true goal of The Tavern; to teach you how to look beyond your sorrows and find the beauty of life once more.
Coffe ans Snow
The view out the window was like looking at a beautiful motion picture. The snowflakes were covering the ground of City Park, inch by inch, dancing in slow motion as everything became white and peaceful. I was having my coffee in my favorite coffee cup as I watched the scene outside, but it was far too beautiful to be real. It’s how I would imagine paradise: clean and spotless.
“Only the snow can cover our filthy littering habit.” I thought as I walked to my table.
Dark thoughts, contrary to the peacefulness outside, began to invade my mind. I desperately wanted to push away those thoughts since they weren’t welcome anymore, but they somehow survived after years of freezing them inside me. They were persistent.
“I am not in charge of the actions of others, so please don’t judge me. Judging never changed anything, but changing my thoughts changed everything.”
Inch by inch, the snow created a heavenly view as the trees and plants became white sculptures of their former selves.
“What if the snow was black?” I asked myself. Days would become nights, and the sky would be as dark as night. Terrifying.
“What if the water was black too?” A bathtub full of black water or a glass of black water with black ice cubes. Clothes and skin wouldn’t get clean, and everything would look filthy.
“Why do I think these thoughts? Why do I need them?” I wondered as I refilled my cup. I probably just want to ruin this meditative state of whiteness, or I want to compare the possibilities so I can better appreciate nature.
“Good morning, Nina!” Intruded Sophia, the new waitress, as she shook the snow from her clothes and came to sit beside me.
“Good morning! What are you doing here? We’re closed.”
“Well, I couldn’t resist this lovely weather.”
“And?” I persisted.
“And you told me to. Remember?”
“Oh, yes. You wanted to hear my story.”
Sophia smiled. “I do. And, with your permission, I’m going to write it. I even have a title for it!”
I smiled at her enthusiasm. “Will it be called The Tavern?”
She shook her head. “No, I was thinking more like “Nina with the Orange Lipstick.”
I gave a small laugh. “What kind of title is that? I know I’m old, but my life wasn’t about lipstick. It was about….”
Memories seemed so distant at that moment. How was I going to find them?
“As I grew up in the tavern, I always admired your peaceful nature and your orange lipstick. I can’t remember a day when you didn’t wear it. Why did you choose that particular shade?” Sophia asked me kindly, but her eyes were anxious for an answer.
I needed time. The answer was too far away; my memories were resting in the distance, but they weren’t dead yet.
I closed my eyes as a colorful spiral appeared. People, smells, sounds, and bright colors were spinning on my forehead, and it felt similar to a computer that’s reset itself. Before I knew it, the past was back in focus.
“I lost my mother when I was ten, and the strongest memory I have of her is when she would put orange lipstick on while looking into her antique bedroom mirror. She would then place a finger to her lips before placing it on mine and sharing her color with me. She was so beautiful, and every time I wore that shade, I would remember that moment. I guess you can say it’s the color of my memories.”
Sophia made herself a cup of coffee as I stared out the window and lost myself in thought. When she returned to the table, she took a recording device and set it next to her steaming mug.
“Are you ready to begin, Nina Simone?”
I smiled when she said my name. “Do you know how I got that name? Nina Simone was the only singer my parents loved. I still have her original records from my childhood, but those memories are elusive now. Childhood may seem short, Sophia, but it is the best part of a person’s life. It deserves to stay there; to be locked away in the chambers of memory. The frozen fingers, the red nose, the wet clothes, and the burning desire to play all day long. To slide down hills, or to build castles in the snow and imagine that you are a princess from another land, far, far away.” I shook myself as memories came flooding back.
“But that is not what I wish to tell you. That is a story that will haunt me if I do not tell it, so, if you’re ready, I’ll take you back to the exact day that changed my life…”