You walked into The Sterling Club like you walked into someone’s overly cramped living room. It’s as if that someone had decided to suddenly stick all the junk he’d been collecting for years on the same wall. The back wall of the tiny space was loaded with antique mirrors in golden frames and I-don’t-know-which century paintings; the ones with men on horses. Quite a realistic stroke though not something I’d hang in my own living room. All of you art historians out there, please excuse my lack of knowledge and poor description of what is probably a great piece of art. But everything looked old anyway. Records were used as decoration over the bar, as were empty cigarette packets and pipes behind glass frames. There was also a wooden cabinet full of crystal glasses and many clocks and just one gramophone. The ceiling was painted royal blue.

We got the impression that the Bulgarian poetry was full of sorrow, though, for all I understood, they could have been speaking of rainbows and puppies.

The Sterling Club is off the beaten track. This is why we were here. The tiny room was crowded with bulky sofas that still smelled of stale tobacco from a time when smoking didn’t kill you. A few men sat drinking. A man with a hairdo “à la Bob Ross” stood reading to the small audience - if you don’t know whom Bob Ross is, please look him up. He had hair that could be mistaken for a thick fur hat. It sat on his head like a dead ferret. He used to make Oil Painting 101 videos. Please pick one with his son making an appearance and appreciate the do. Both of them painted landscapes with secret bushes hiding happy rabbits.

He had hair that could be mistaken for a thick fur hat. It sat on his head like a dead ferret.

Now, back to the guy doing the reading. A man strumming tearful tunes accompanied him. We got the impression that the Bulgarian poetry was full of sorrow, though, for all I understood, they could have been speaking of rainbows and puppies. I sat silently, feeling out of place, while Tim looked content. I envied his ability to always look at ease, always looking like he belongs. As we chatted in hushed tones, Tim’s stare grew dark. He had noticed a few accordions hanging uselessly above the bar next to the records.

“I’ve been looking for one of these in aaages and here they are just being used as decoration. D’you think they’d let me have one?”

I didn’t.

Mildly disappointed, we stepped outside and Tim rolled a cigarette. He inhaled happily in the warm evening. It seemed such a peaceful action, he could have convinced me to start smoking right then. We sat some more listening to the next sad tune, foreign words streaming from the open door and a kitten meowing angrily into the night.

             

The Writer

I write stuff for fun, if it was for a living I would be homeless.

Find out more about me, Stefanie, here.

Quotes

Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go. Truman Capote