Bar-11_Larry Mitchell

Larry Mitchell

A Excerpt from The Terminal Bar by Larry Mitchell.

Joints move down the bar. By the time the 4th one passes him by, Barnaby thinks, ‘I feel better. Dope does it every time. It is the only way I get through it all.’ His mind drifts. Words surround him–alienation, anomie, nausea, disjointed–all words of discord, unhappiness. ‘But they are only words. Things do still work, sort of. We are still here, sort of. No one has been killed. But then, no one has asked to be killed yet. If you are ready to be killed it is probably easy. The papers are filled with death. And the military is arming the whole world. Every fascist in the world has enough lethal weapons to poison us all. It must be the end.’ Barnaby begins to think that the death trip of those in power has become his trip. He lean slightly towards Robin and says, “They are preparing us for annihilation. They have everything at hand necessary to end us all. And I seem to be helping them.”

“By being passive?”

“Yeah. I barely fight them at all. No one does. We all go about our lives like… I don’t know, like it’s all normal. Like atomic bombs and poisons spilling over the earth and torture and genocide are all normal. How can we go about our lives knowing what we know?”

“You can’t know too much.”

Barnaby knows that is wrong. “I know too much.”

The Terminal Bar by Larry Mitchell, front and back covers

Audio of Reading by Bette Borne from The Terminal Bar by Larry Mitchell

On Larry Mitchell by Francie Lyshak

Larry was a masterful writer who played a major role in my life. He wrote an exquisite novel called The Terminal Bar, which was based on the The Bar, now defunct , at 4th Street and Second Avenue in the East Village. I would say that Larry was probably one of the smartest men I’ve ever known. He was smart in a way that was unique. He was intellectually smart, emotionally smart and ethically smart. He was smart about history and politics and his humanity was extraordinary. He was one of my gurus. Larry and Bill sometimes played the wise elders of this community. These men and Richard made a place for me. They were interested in me, which quite frankly was a pretty new experience. They were also rebels. They were rebels because they were mostly outcasts, and they were artists in a time when this was unrewarded in our society. They were not going to be held down in their self-expression. I guess that was true for me as well. So maybe that was what we had in common. We were born into a world that was unsupportive of our values and we were there to value one another. Together we had a lot of fun. We laughed. There was a lot of repartee. It was a hot bed of creativity.