Pictures & Blather: Anniversary by Dmitry Samarov

Dmitry Samarov

Words and pictures. Whatever happened during the week that I can remember. Occasional pleas for money. A new one every Monday.


Skylark’s fifteenth anniversary party will be Sunday, May 6th. That’s a few days after I’m writing this and a day or more before you read it. A band will play and there’s supposed to be pizza. The festivities are to begin around 5pm. My regular Sunday shift doesn’t start till 8pm but I’ll get there early, in case the day bartender needs help. I love working at the Skylark but hate parties so I’m looking forward to this Sunday with a mixture of anticipation and dread.

Dmitry Samarov

The trouble with parties is that you’re expected to have a good time. I don’t do well with expectations or scheduled mirth. I always looked forward most to clearing the table at every family get-together growing up. There will be plenty of glasses to wash Sunday, that much I know.

Dmitry Samarov

Last Sunday, a guy straight out of a blaxploitation flick walked into the bar. He had tinted shades, a pinky ring, and a wavy, styled head of hair, which may or may not have come from the store. He drank screwdrivers and told stories about his twenty-plus years in the rap game. He gave me his brand-new CD, the eleventh of his career. A lot of the numbers seemed to be about being a pimp, but he mostly wanted to talk about reuniting with his eighteen-year-old son. To hear Natalac tell it, his son’s mother had kept them apart for years. “I tell him he’ll be walking in my shoes, not hers, and he’s listening to me,” he says.

Then, a man who had repeatedly bothered a woman in the neighboring booth refused to leave the bar. He made a nuisance of himself to the point that police had to be called to escort him out. He kept saying he was friends with the owners and had done nothing wrong. The Skylark’s clientele is usually peaceful and well-behaved so this bozo was an anomaly. You’d think that if you were actually friend’s with the owners you’d respect a place enough not to make an ass of yourself and not show up the employees. A half hour after being bumrushed he had the gaul to come back in, claiming he’d forgotten something. When I told him to leave he was no longer arguing like before. He wanted me to apologize to his friend, the owner, for his behavior.

You meet all kinds at this bar. It’s one of the things I like best about the job. I don’t know if any pimps will show up for our anniversary party but hope that cops are not needed to deal with anyone who does.

I’m proud to’ve played a small part in the Skylark’s success and hope to work there for many years to come.

More next Monday,


p.s. I reviewed an overwrought tragicomedy for the Reader and Don De Grazia and I discussed Lynne Ramsey’s merciless new movie You Were Never Really Here.

Artwork and photo: Dmitry Samarov


Originally published in Dmitry Samarov’s Pictures & Blather here.

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Dmitry Samarov paints and writes in Chicago, Illinois.
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