The other night I wound up having a few late night drinks with someone I barely know and have a lot in common with.
She's worried about how her divorce is going to affect her teen-age sons-I'm a poster child for broken homes.
Their dad is an unemployable addict. Mine is a jobless drunk.
She used to drink at all the bars I used to work at-how we never met is a mystery to me. We know a lot of the same people, or at least we did.
"Hey, remember Marty, who worked at such and such?"
"Yeah, I just found out he's got cancer and won't make it."
"Shit. Did you know Ron died last year?"
"I heard that.That sucks. How about Laurie from so and so?"
"She killed herself a few years ago. Pills , I think."
I can't speak for a second, so I wordlessly push my glass forward-two fingers saying make it a double.
"We went out for a little while, a long time ago. A long time ago."
"Oh Jesus,I'm sorry. She had problems you know."
"Yeah I know. She scared me. A lot she scared me."
"Christ. Were you two serious?"
"No, not really", I say, unsure if I'm lying or not.
"How about Vaughn? Is he still working at this and that?"
"I don't know. I haven't been there in years."
"Let's change the subject. Got anything to drink at your place?"
Use your imagination. I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman and I never treat a lady with disrespect.
This morning the IT guy at my new office couldn't seem to get my Web,Fax and phone connections working, so I left after lunch and went to do laundry.
Vaughn was there. I figured he was dead, but he's not.
I told him this.
He said he thought the same thing about me.