Sorrow No More

“Slow but sure, like whiskey going down smooth, my sadness dissolved, and a calm happiness gradually took its place…” Noa Shachar managed to rid herself of her melancholy at The Rock bar in Tel Aviv.

I had been through a pretty bad day and Adam agreed to join me for a drink to cheer me up, even though he had already made plans with his army buddies, all of whom he hadn’t seen for some time. “I’ll sit with you for a bit,” he said, “and then I got to go meet up with them.” “Okay, okay,” I rolled my eyes dramatically, “just get me out of the house for an hour or I’ll lose it.”

Adam had no interest in seeing me suffer, and so he picked me up and we headed south towards Allenby Street. The streets were empty, party people preferring the indoors at this time of year, and I had no problem with this whatsoever. When we entered The Rock, I was happy to have enough space to sit and breathe. There was just the right amount of people in the bar, any more would have been too packed.

We found ourselves a corner on the bar which has the classic square shape that many of the bars on Allenby Street share. The place is a Rock Bar, meaning that the music being played every day of the week is rock music (but “light” rock, suitable for sitting and chatting, not too blasting). Adam started sipping some fine whiskey, stating that it “goes down smooth.” I went for a girlish cocktail. The barman explained that this isn’t exactly a cocktail-bar but that basically, anything I wanted to drink, I could ask for and they would make it for me.

Slow but sure, like the whiskey running down Adam’s throat, my sadness dissolved, and a calm happiness gradually took its place. I shared with Adam my wonderment at the possibility that I was actually experiencing calm in a bar on Allenby Street, and he said that this is a very pleasant watering hole, which doesn’t fit into the whole Allenby bar stereotype. As though re-enforcing his sentiments, I started singing along with the background music – classic Israeli rock, just the way I like it.

Adam had moved on to his second whiskey drink, and I remembered that he will soon say that he has to go. “I’m having a really good time,” he leaned over with a smile, “but the guys will kill me if I don’t join them soon.” “Yes, I understand,” I said and ordered him to finish his drink. I had the feeling that we were both stalling for time, trying to make the last few sips last a little bit longer. But the purpose of coming here had been fulfilled: I was no longer bummed. I set Adam loose and off on his way, wishing him a fun guys’ night out, and was on my own way, happy with the choice of bar we made, and confident that next time, we will stay for one more whiskey.

The Rock
29 Allenby, Tel Aviv