I order a bottle of sparkling wine, Montmartre Brut. A fluted glass is placed in front of me by a woman who is dressed in black. The bartender pours, re-corks, and, before she can return the bottle to the fridge behind her, realizes that I'm already waiting for the second glass. (The first drink is always in fact the second; the first drink is never there, it's a zero, an empty space; the second drink becomes the first by filling the void left by that thing that never in reality happened.) The wine is properly chilled, balanced, not very bubbly, and dry. Above the bar hangs the head of an animal. Its glassy eyes stare into an air that's filled with music. The tune above my head is "Salvation Song" by the Avett Brothers (Wikipedia: "roots rock," "indie rock," "neo-folk"). "We came for salvation/We came for family/We came for all that's good, that's how we'll walk away," sing the Avett Brothers, who come from Concord, North Carolina.

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