I like bars just after they open for the evening. When the air inside is still clean and everything is shiny and the barkeep is giving himself that last look in the mirror to see if everything is straight and smooth. I like the neat bottles on the bar back and the shining glasses and the anticipation. I like to watch the mixing of the first one of the evening and put it down on a crisp mat and put the little folded napkin beside it. I like to taste it slowly. The first quiet drink of the evening in a quiet bar
— that's wonderful.
With the palms zipping past and the big sun burning down on the road ahead, I had a flash of something I hadn’t felt since my first months in the island—a mixture of ignorance and a loose, “what the hell” kind of confidence that comes when the wind picks up and you begin to move in a hard straight line toward an unknown horizon. “Happy", I muttered, trying to pin the word down. But it is one of those words, like Love, that I have never quite understood. Most people who deal in words don’t have much faith in them and I am no exception – especially the big ones like Happy and Love and Honest and Strong. They are too elusive and far too relative when you compare them to sharp, mean little words like Punk and Cheap and Phony. I feel at home with these, because they’re scrawny and easy to pin, but the big ones are tough and it takes either a priest or a fool to use them with any confidence.