My favorite El Salvadoran dive with the lopsided pool tables and homely Mexican women is under new management.
The rainbow flags and banners hanging all over the place should have tipped me off. I was disappointed to find all the pool tables stacked haphazardly on one side of the room.
There are a number of young Latinos sitting in lounge chairs, each keeping to himself, drink in hand, seemingly sedated, watching me. There’s no music, just a bored silence.
I see a girl I recognize. She waves and smiles.
“What happened to all the pool tables?” I say.
“Oh, no more,” she says. “It’s a gay bar now.”
“So no more playing pool?”
“No. Just dancing.”
Weird. It’s starting to feel like some kind of dream where everything is familiar to me and yet strangely alien. As I’m leaving I see the two security guys coming from around the building. Big guys. Muscular. Dressed in SWAT outfits and jack boots. They’ll fit in perfectly.
“What happened?” I say. “It’s a gay bar now?”
One guy laughs and shakes his head. “No more girls,” says the other guy.
“Good luck!” I say, laughing. “You’ll make a lot more tips now!”
I hop into the truck and head home.
Further evidence that a season of change is upon us.