Fraser had been trying to fight the oncoming no-smoking laws that were about to hit NZ bars but it was a lost cause. Like the motorway had forced him to change Bodega’s location, he had to bow with the flow and sort us out a place at the new bar we could puff up large and so he put a couple of tables out in the carpark. It was there we mainly drank – outside in all weather.
There were quite a few of us regulars back in those days, keeping the spirit of the original place alive – the non-musical side of Bodega. It was a big part of my life then – I was single and damaged and it had become a solace-place with a big, strange disaffected cast of misfits floating around in various doses.
A group of us had been out on a bender one weekend and we wound up there on the Sunday at twilight – we were all pretty frazzled as I remember it.
They were both friends of mine and it suddenly got very nasty. One was small but fiery the other big and strong.
The smaller smashed her pint glass on the table and held up the jagged remains as a weapon but the bigger one just went for her.
I jumped in.
I don’t know what came over me but I wasn’t going to let it happen – not bloodshed, not with people I love.
They were tough and been through hard times in their lives – both fighters and here they were fighting each other over nothing.
All the drink wore off and I got in between them – holding off the cut glass with one hand and trying to keep the bigger one at arm’s length.
We went into a strange dance and everyone else backed off.
I was trying to talk them down as we spun around the carpark but neither of them would listen to reason. One part of my brain was screaming danger signals about losing a guitar finger to the glass but I wouldn’t let go – I was locked in to keeping them from maiming each other.
It seemed to go on forever and a lot of words and truths were dished out from both sides.
At a certain point they surrendered – probably realised they would have to actually hurt me to get to the other.
A lot of things happened in that smoking area out behind the Bodge and so I guess this is just part one of a series.
This is the #150th weekly edition of this blog thing I do and thanks if you’re still reading.