Wellington Street

In which we take a stroll down a very strange lane.


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Bar 1 "Teeth"

Pubs tend to be frequented by two types of people. There are those who wish to remember, and those who wish to forget. Most of the time, they just end up finding out how hard it is to do either. There is a local bar, a small establishment that is clearly kept going by the regulars. Like many of the buildings on Wellington Street, it was established a long time ago, and this one shows its age. The tables are covered in layers of scratches and stains, the stools covered in old red vinyl that shows thick splits, revealing the cotton underneath. The bartenders fluctuate from day to day, but the customers tend to stay the same.

One in particular seems to be a consistent regular. Since I started this project I have managed to stop by on no less than five different occasions. Every time I find him sitting in the corner, sporting whatever hard liquor is on hand. His name is Harry, and he looks as haunted as anyone I have ever met.

People in bars like this tend to pretty friendly, and more than willing to share some stories after a drink or so. But in Harry's case it ended up taking much longer. It was only on my third visit that I managed to get him to hold a conversation. It was on a cold night. Frost gripped the windows, the condensation pooling in the corners of the sills. He is a easy person to recognize. He is slightly plump, yet his cheeks seem withdrawn. His head has balding, graying hair, a stubble clinging to his face. His eyes are easily his most stand out feature. They are large, and a very light blue. His eyes are always bloodshot, even after waking up from unconsciousness.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why he finally decided to talk to me. After formally introducing myself for the third time, I bought him a drink. It didn't take too long after that for him to start talk. This is the story he shared with me, as best as I can recall.

“It was a late night. I used to work at a hospital uptown. There is a train stop near the end of the block. It was normal for me to just take the train. Walk the few blocks to my house. That night was particularly cold. Snow was on the ground. I had the entire sidewalk to myself. Mostly. I kept looking at the ground in front of me. The wind was cold enough to cut right through you, so I just kept my head down.”

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