Azucena,tending bar, is the only person in the Bar Imagine when I walk in.
She is polishing glasses, checking inventory, brings me a menu, works on the books while I decide on fish tacos and a Tona beer, a local favorite.
” Que tiempo, la musica, ” I ask?
The board outside the building says the Latin All Stars will be playing Beatles music at eight. The chalkboard in the entry says the Latin All Stars will be playing Latin Salsa at nine. Handbills on telephone polls around town say free music starts at eight and nine and Happy Hour is 5 – 6?
” Nueve, ” she confirms.
A photo of John Lennon is on one wall, prominently displayed. There are two chairs and a mic on an empty stage. Two cooks are slicing tomatoes and onions and one brings me out chips and picante sauce while they thaw fish and turn on the gas to their stoves.
” Que donde todo gente? ”
She shrugs and says, ” Ocho, ocho y media? ”
It is a quiet evening on Cervantes street and, in this town, I would expect to see Miquel sitting at this bar with his caballo tied up outside, his lance close to his hand for encounters with windmills. That famous novel, ” Don Quixote “, has chapter after chapter of the adventures of a man on a mission, standing for justice in an unjust world.
” My English is not so good, ” she says, but she manages to get me to buy more drinks than I planned.
Don Quixote is to fiction what John Lennon is to rock and roll.
After dinner and two Tona’s, I catch a cab home and vow to return tomorrow to catch whatever music happens to be on stage.
The only Abbey Lane in this town is on the front steps of this Bar.