It's a little weird to think of since BED has always been there ever since I left home and starting living my life is an out and proud gay man. The news came rather suddenly last week, as far as social media is concerned. And even though it has literally been years since I last went to BED, it still feels kind of sad. It's another touch tone to my past that is going away, as is often the case with the inevitable passage of time.
The BED experience for me probably wasn't about the bar itself. As I've written across my various blogs time and time again, my Malate experience was defined by my circle of friends at the time and going to BED on a Saturday night meant spending more time with them. But of course things changed (primarily my relationship), and we all grew busy in different ways and didn't necessarily see one another as much as before. Now we're all living pretty different lives and while we're all still contacts on social media, I suppose it's pretty fair to say that things just aren't the same.
Things were already weird when BED finally left Malate and moved to the Greenfield District. That alone felt like the notion of "my BED" was gone forever. A lot of my memories of those times are not just about BED, but also Malate as a whole and the sort of community it represented and the general hope for things to be better for the LGBT community. Now we're all over the place and Malate is a shadow of its former self. Things change all the time.
I guess I feel sad that BED is closing, even though it's not quite "my BED" anymore. But what would make it mine? I don't think I can just force old friends back together and sort of recapture the feeling of being out for the first time in my very, very young adult life. There's no turning back time and things are completely different not. And I don't mean this in a bad way - different is not automatically bad. It's just different - by definition it's not the same as before.
I'm weighing whether or not to try and visit what I'll always think of as the "new" location of BED one last time before it closes this weekend. But would going to bar without those same friends feel like the same experience? Is there a way to recapture that spark of old Malate magic just by getting some of the old elements back in play? Or is this more like paying my last respects to a concept - whether it's for the concept of the BED I once knew or the person I used to be back then is anyone's guess. Or maybe I should best let sleeping dogs lie and just wish BED a fond farewell from a distance?
There are always going to be things that I'm going to miss about my times at BED. But there's also a weird mix of not-so-great memories as well. And I seem to have my fair share of ghosts tied to BED as well. And some of those ghosts are actually alive.
Or maybe I'm just over thinking things again.