Matt’s Seat

I hadn’t been to Marie’s Crisis in Greenwich Village for twelve years.  I was happy to see that nothing had changed, except that I stopped after two dirty martinis instead of getting hammered on Singapore Slings.  The martinis were poured so full that my Chica and I had to sip them first in order to move the glass without spilling.  What a great bartender!  Marie’s Crisis could only exist in New York.  Where else can you get Broadway singers stopping by and singing show tunes around a piano at a small bar on a Wednesday night?   I loved it when various patrons chimed in to sing along in full beautiful voices (almost like a flash mob).

A young male singer who had been at the piano, bounced behind the bar to serve drinks.  One of the ladies said it was her birthday.  He poured her a complimentary shot of choice (coconut rum) and then a second glass of it for himself so that he could toast to her special day.  “I’m twenty-six years old,” he said, “and I can’t wait to be in my thirties.  Right now, I’m stressin’ to build a career and make a living.  I figure when I’m in my thirties, everything will be smoother and more established.  I mean, it better.  If you don’t have a career at thirty, then you’re in trouble, right?”  Everyone at our corner of the bar was in their thirties and forties, including the birthday woman.  We said nothing.  He continued, “I mean, I am twenty-six, I’m pretty close to thirty, so I don’t have much time left.”  “Oh, shut up,” the birthday woman said.  We all laughed.

About the time I was thinking that I could easily be a regular here, I noticed that at my place at the bar was a plaque that read, ‘Matt’s Seat.’  I found it rather touching and unusual.  I wondered, “who is Matt and what makes him so special?”  My Chica said that it might be a memorial of some sort, which made sense.  I looked at the older bartender, who seemed so comfortable in this establishment that I thought he must have worked here for many years.  I assumed he knew who Matt was, but thought it would be in poor taste to ask.  I wondered if they were friends or if maybe Matt knew the owner.  I found myself flooded with questions about Matt.  How much time did he spend here?  Did he have a long life?  Was he going to this bar at the time of the stonewall riots?  Was he lonely and the people at the bar became his friends?  Did he sing?  He must have loved Broadway show tunes.  The only thing I knew for certain by seeing this plaque at the best seat in the bar is that Matt was loved.

4 thoughts on “Matt’s Seat

  1. Your story makes me feel like I’m right there enjoying the evening with you and Chica! Unfortunately my drink right now is an iced coffee. I’ll have to confess, I would have asked all the questions.


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