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Pipes That Lead To Nowhere

April 15, 2012

I’ve apparently developed this strange habit of falling right off the face of the earth.

For those who have worried, no I didn’t fall deeper into an Oblomovian stupor. Quite the opposite in fact.

Shortly after that post, I once more became wrapped up in investigating a business opportunity not far from where I grew up. February became a strange swirl of phone calls, site investigations, meetings with a lawyer, and the continuous question of whether or not this was the right thing to do. Somehow though, all of this insanity peaked in a disappointing dinner at a restaurant that had just enough schmooze to keep you from noticing the place was imploding.

I bought that restaurant.

March then became lost between rides on the Long Island Rail Road and trying to understand the purpose of pipes that lead to nowhere. The Long Island Rail Road is a truly depressing form of mass transit. I’m in fact not certain how people have been able to go through their entire careers riding it, since it seems that its singular purpose is to slowly but inevitably drain your soul. Then again, I suppose most people have jobs they’re somewhat excited about, fancy houses, wives, and children. These are things that bolster the soul, fill it to bursting.

Thinking so much about souls wears it away like ocean waters against a beach.

Still with each passing day, and every back and forth astride the iron horse, the restaurant grows closer to opening. I can’t take credit for that, I helped but the restaurant is clearly the dream of my father and his blood, sweat, and tears will be what makes it into the fine establishment it will surely be. Or at least that’s what we keep telling ourselves so we can make it through the day.

I say that because, not only is this going to be a restaurant, one of the riskiest businesses available but it was a failing restaurant that we took over. There are daily reminders of the fact that the owners stopped caring after however many years they were. The dead lobster we found in the walk-in, the science project growing in the stagnant beer in the kegerator, the poor color scheme, the Sea-Breeze cola connected to Coca-Cola equipment, and countless others. Still, I think the best symbolization of this restaurant and the seeds that destroyed it lay in the pipes that lead to nowhere.

They renovated several times over, and removed sinks with a frequency that would probably alarm the Board of Health. However, every time they renovated, rather than properly remove pipes or cap them, or do anything, they just left them. They come out of the walls in some places like snakes that were transmuted to copper by a wizard with a very peculiar sense of humor. All the pipes do now is take up space, and look strange. They’re out of sight though, which I guess was all that mattered to the previous owners.

After all, when we were there we didn’t notice all of the other problems.

We notice them now though, as we’ve gone through and cataloged every problem we could find. In the process, we’ve created a list that like a many headed hydra, seems to grow even as we remove things from it. Still, even as we pull at our hair trying to comprehend what is going on, progress is made.

We’ve nearly finished painting, we can now play music in the front of the bar, nothing is growing in that eerily creepy fashion of mold and insects, and nearly all of our paperwork is in the works. Every so often it seems that we’re fast approaching that moment when all we’ll be asked to do is polish counter tops and train staff while we wait for the all-clear to start serving people.

It is in the midst of one such breather that I was able to sit back and realize, “By the Gods, it’s April.”

Things are happening, I’ve gotten a few more rejection letters from magazines added to the stack in that time, I have other things caught up in that far worse hell of, “Received,” and mostly I just try to combat the existential fatigue of the Long Island Rail Road with the desire to never have to set foot on it again.

As promised, this blog is live, and I haven’t forgotten you, Dear Readers!

In the coming week, you’ll see the structure as it comes alive, but in the mean time I should really turn my energies to that pilot script to enter into that contest that starts…tomorrow.

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