…And Waiting, and Waiting: Lent in Casablanca, Night 13

Years ago, my friend Ellen and I had a theory that she and I had made many tours upon this rock, and that no matter what happened, at some point our paths would intersect.  Between lives, she and I would meet up in The Blue Light, an intimate little club with top shelf drinks and awesome music. (The Blue Light came from the old Word Perfect 5.1 screen)

The first time Ellen and I met, it wasn’t at all like “getting to know you”; it was a sense of “so, how have you been this time?” The connection was that strong. 

If there is an Afterlife, I think that would be a lovely way to start it: sitting there in a small lounge, listening to Chet Baker and Paul Desmond play, sipping Ketel One (rocks and three Spanish olives), and catching up with Ellen.

At some point, the bartender would give last call, and we’d have to pack up our souls for our next missions.

Casablanca would be near the end of the line of our earthly missions.  Writ large, Casablanca could be where we decide our ultimate fates. Maybe we’ve had multiple life journeys and multiple loves. Maybe we each get one shot at life on Earth, and Casablanca is where the books are balanced, the tabs settled. Either way, Casablanca is where we figure out where we’re headed, and who will accompany us. 

The Ricks & Louies, Saschas & Strassers? They’re all part of that stop for everyone. Lisbon is the Gateway to the End of the Line. The goal is to make it to Casablanca from your personal Oran, earn your passage to Lisbon, then connect to whatever Heaven (or Whatever) awaits you.

For those who have led good lives sans intrigue, maybe they get off the train, enjoy a night in Rick’s Cafe Purgatoire, the fly out the next morning. For others, perhaps it’s a struggle, weeks or months of scraping, scheming, atoning, and suffering, just to get somewhere.

There will be those, too, who never get free. They get shot trying to escape, and have to start all over at birth.

There’s a certain magic about a nightclub. The lights, the sounds, the drinks: it’s all orchestrated to be seamless for the guest.  After last call, when the last merrymaker has weaved out into the night, up come the lights. And holy crap, that magic evaporates in a flash.  Then it’s time to mop.

Maybe the truest purgatory is playing the same bartender role night after night. The action during business hours might change a little from night to night, but the mopping remains the same. 

I’m in no hurry to test my theory, of course.  Still, I can think of worse way stations en route to immortality. I could wander into Rick’s, have a few Bourbons, take Yvonne back to my room, then wake up and fly off to The Blue Light.

Oh, Lord, just don’t let them have added karaoke.

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2 Responses to “…And Waiting, and Waiting: Lent in Casablanca, Night 13”

  1. You know, before I met you I had no idea how much I would miss you when I didn’t have you. But now that I have, I do, and I do.

    • Hard to believe two decades have passed since we met, at least this time. I’ll see you in The Blue Light in a few more. Love you, and “Tag.”

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