For one, it’s the peeps who find their way here and then spell my misbegotten rants with their graceful sense and their timeless sensibilities. In spite of myself, I’ve got the most articulate, spirited, talented, beautiful bloggers that WordPress has to offer. I’m not being hyperbolic, either. I don’t do hyperbole on week days, it’s against my religion. Cayman Thorn may not be a real person, but you all have managed to bring him to life, and keep him there.
The other reason I keep Drinks Well? The Irish Post, of course. It’s the Holy Day for yours truly. It’s not my reason for being, but it is my reason for being certain enough with the mystery of our existential paths. When you can square the roots of this great big universe based on the glorious milieu of familiar smiles all dressed in green, you’ve landed on the 17th.
I understand it’s been a week since ‘me Irish brogue went rogue, but that’s ‘coo. The Irish Post- like St. Patrick’s Day- doesn’t concern itself with running on time. All it has to do is show up, and it has for the last five years. This happens to be one year longer than the “Gipper’s” college career at Notre Dame and the Irish Potato Famine . . which did not happen concurrently if you’re scoring at home.
My social calendar has gone all Howard Hughes (sans the billion dollar bank account) in recent years. I have whittled my tea time gatherings with friends into monthly-ish excursions. This reset is in accordance with my preferences for peace and solitude over poker games and sports bars. It has worked to great effect because just like candy, when you miniaturize something, the flavor only gets better.
We kicked off the evening at Annie Baileys. The friendly confines have been witness to great moments in bachelor history and I wore the Ireland soccer shirt gifted me by Ms. Isla Bonita from back in the day to commemorate the occasion.
“Make them friendly,” I pleaded with the waitress.
No sooner had our drinks arrived than Red came over with her daughter in tow, dressed all in St Patrick and a day’s worth of party. They were on their way home while we were just getting started, but I coaxed them into prettying up our table for a spell.
My girl sat next to Big Papi while her daughter joined me, and for the space of a little while, the four of us settled the world’s business. Red’s daughter is a beautiful creature who just so happens to be more intense than a Scorcese flick. She’d never have to buy a drink if she didn’t feel like it, but it’s not Happy Hour that concerns her so much as the rest of her life and who to spend it with. And maybe I’m jaded and maybe I’m too damned old for my own sake, but I happen to think the girl should fetch those eyes and happily accept those free drinks until she meets a guy whose balls match his bank account. We talk about politics and education and her kids- she has two from a failed marriage. She’s an amazing teacher and a great mother, but then again, she had the best example going.
As the second round of happy showed up at our table, the girls bid us adieu with hugs and kisses. And then it was me and Big Papi left to our own devices, which is either the most dangerous thing in the world, or the funniest. When the place started going loud and young, we moved our two man caravan over to a kitschy little hole in the wall near his place.
The waitress knows Big Papi’s drink before he sits down, while I order another Guinness as we settle in while Elvis Costello is pumping it up from the way back of 1978. And then we’re talking on how great music used to sound and then we’re pining for the days of Dr. J and then we’re laughing at how we used to think Rambo was great cinema. We come to a gentleman’s agreement on how age is just a number; a huge, fucking slab of a number indeed . . but still, just a number.
It was a good place going as St Patrick’s Night went crazy to the wicked ideas of a simple good time and a metamorphosis occurred, wherein a number transformed itself into times and places and rock ‘n roll. And so what if we’re not as young as we used to be? It’s alright, because we’re never gonna be the kind of old we always used to fear. Not ever.
Big Papi’s kid made the scene and I bought him a Guinness. We toasted to girls dressed in green and then the conversation went simpler than that. We talked on the Philadelphia Eagles, we argued on instant replay and we laughed like hell about my 40th birthday; a party that almost never started and then almost never ended.
It was some time later when a fine young chica caught the kid’s attention, after which he sent over a drink. We wished him luck and then I drove Big Papi home and then he told me to thank Red for showing up and I told him I would. He’s always gonna be in love with her and I’m never gonna hold it against him.
I hit the road and I turn on some Elvis and I watch the dashboard clock move St. Patrick three hundred and sixty four days away from me. There’s some melancholy in the thought that another year will pass, but there’s plenty more sustenance in the good times we made happen.
It’s all you can ask.