Memoirs of a Coffee House 6: The Phenomenon of Wired and My Life

05 Apr

August of 2004 brought with it the close of the original Wired and the visitation of the new location.

Before the original location actually closed its doors, several of us jumped in my friend Blake’s vehicle to visit the new location; we loaded up some of the items from Wired to take there.

The new location had once been a strip club and grill; it had lost its liquor license due to a stabbing that had taken place some five years earlier.

The original key that we were given to unlock the building unfortunately did not work, and so we weren’t able to enter until a few nights later.

The building, having not been operating for five years, was one of the saddest and most deplorable things any of us had ever seen. The windows were sealed up by a kind of black drywall, the the ceiling was falling through with leaky tiles, there was a huge layer of dirt and grease on practically everything.

Lily named the new place “ReWired,” which was an interesting play on words: this was “Wired” returning, and we had the electrical wiring redone to a huge degree.

For the duration of August and even some of the beginning of September, the Wired Family and many of the other regulars worked with all their might to put together the new coffee house.

The first several days, we were without air conditioning. Thus, the sun poured in from dawn till dusk, heating the place up, and we all basically sweated to death.

My main tasks, that I can remember, had to do with sweeping and painting. I personally painted the bars holding up the ceiling tiles in the men’s bathroom. I can’t remember if I also did this in the women’s bathroom or not.

We washed, scrubbed, cleaned; washing windows was also something I remember doing at the time.

Then came “the” painting incident.

The main walls were painted three or four times. The walls were initially black, most unsuitable for a coffee house. Then someone painted over the black wall with a dark brown color. To my mind, this made sense: coffee is dark, and so a dark color would be okay, but Michael the interior designer told us that a dark color made the place look too closed in and not open enough.

The next color was the most interesting: the wall was painted a sea-foam green. This color was disgusting, and every person who came to visit asked when we were going to repaint the wall.

At last the successful color came along: Teddy Bear Tan. The tan color worked. Everyone agreed on it. Everyone felt much better about it.

The other great success story is rather a dramatic one dealing with the wall behind the stage. ReWired’s stage had a wall that we decided to paint as an expression of who and what we were. Rheana took the lead, and several of us began the process. She told us to paint from a non-objective mode of being, and so we did just that: we had swirls of color mixed with amorphous shapes; we touched up each other’s images, melding them together in one cosmic dance of awesomeness expressed on a wall.

Then Rheana didn’t show up for whatever reason; someone mistook this for her abandoning the entire project, and when she returned, she was horrified to see that others had jumped into the painting of the wall and taken it into an entirely different direction than she had envisioned.

Lily’s then-boyfriend Raymond took charge of the ensuing drama and told us to get in contact with Rheana, to tell her to come paint the wall, and that if she didn’t appear within the next 24 hours, he was going to white-wash it to put us back to square one.

I think Raymond actually also said that Rheana and Claire had to take over the painting of the wall.

Eventually, the wall was finished, and the archetypal nature of what we were trying to express came through. Ed the Wizard interpreted the meaning of the various points of the wall, and over it all, someone painted the word “ReWired.” If ever there were a symbol to express who we were and for what we stood, that wall, with its mismatching blaze of colors and beautiful shapes painted by the hands of a dozen people or more, spoke the story to anyone who would behold it.

Luckily, I have some pictures to show you, but patience is a virtue, so we’ll get there once the story is more completed.


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