I‌ made my way like a moth toward the glowing streets of downtown San Jose. My senses, flapping and undulating against the lights, assured me that I had reached the edge of the sun, but really I was just bumping up against a dusty light bulb. Such is a moth’s life. We are creatures of the night and, thus, enamored by the light. But 2016 was a year for darkness, as beacons of hope seemed to extinguish just when we needed them most. Even we moths had a hard time navigating the dimness.

I walked Santa Clara Street, sharing the paseo with the well-heeled and the shoeless, past the secret fishing hole, the events pavilion, under the Caltrain tracks, and up the steps to Mission Creek Brewing Co. taproom. It’s an open-air affair, but still quite pleasant on a South Bay December night. The elevated destination has a patio feel. It’s a casual atmosphere that plays well with the scenery. Patrons of Mission Creek, which is connected to a Whole Foods, can relax with an exceptional brew while watching trains pull in and out of Diridon, fans pouring in and out of SAP Center, and cars driving up and down The Alameda.

Mr. Harada, my dear friend and fellow man of terrible housekeeping (M.O.T.H.), assured me he would be present whilst I sipped and reflected. I took a seat at the bar and shook his hand, as Mr. Harada was operating the taps on this day. He recommended a pint of the Punchlist Pale, an excellent choice. Next up, a flight of four: The Lord of Dankness IPA, Plant 51 Porter, Sorta Session IPA and the Bine Life Double IPA, and not necessarily in that order.

Mr. Harada and I had a fine time. We always have a fine time, even if the tides of life are not in synch with our expectations, wants or needs. It’s been like this for more than a decade and a half. Time is an unforgiving wave best surfed with friends.

The upstairs patio of Mission Creek Brewing Co. is a venue ripe for reflection. Take a hike up the stairs and down memory lane. Like De Niro’s character Michael “Mike” Vronsky says in The Deer Hunter, “this, is this.” We are who we are, like it or not.

Signing off, Mr. Harada and I will see you in the future.

Mission Creek Brewing Co.
777 The Alameda, San Jose.