The green cushions of the lightly-stained stools seem oddly inviting. Much like a bar, the ladies and gentlemen behind the counter dispense both advice and what their duties require. And like a bar there are two groups of people here tonight: those wanting to stay and share their stories, and those here to get what they need and leave.
In most cases, the ones in a hurry are here for keys. They trade their ID cards for access, like cash for drinks. Some disappear, gone forever. Others return later to retrieve their identity, in essence cashing out their tabs.
Those who leave miss out on the conversation: pithy comments and pitiful confessions. But for those who stay, the sages behind the counter, the bartenders of this residence hall, offer up their open ears and words of wisdom. Like the Talking Heads once sang, this must be the place.
This bar doesn't close. Folks stay and spill their guts all night long. A frequent guest mentioned he stayed up till 3 or 4 a.m. chatting with the night crew.
But at this hour, the sky is a downright oceanic blue with a tint of tangerine on the horizon. No one is bleary-eyed, but rather wide awake.
A writer stops by, killing time while he waits on friends to meet for dinner. He divulges his late arrival into his bed the previous night: 2 a.m. He had stayed up chatting to a friend. Had it been any other friend, he would have cut the conversation short, but he allowed the two-hour digital discussion to run its course. He still has feelings for this friend, and voraciously hungers for any form of communication with her.
But the topic quickly turns to the cinema, in lieu of a more serious discussion on matters of the heart. There are other patrons, after all.
Regardless, the writer soon leaves, as a phone call informs him his friends are ready and waiting. As he leaves, he tells the group he'll see them later. Judging by his demeanor, he'll definitely return.