The Stranger's journey has now come full circle.
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There are still stories to be told.
Read them at The Stranger Looks Back.

Vodka & Coke

It's her fault, that vodka and coke is my drink. I had always been a rum and coke kinda guy, Captain Morgan and all that, until I asked her what she was drinking. Vodka and coke? I never heard of that. Try it, she said. So I did. That's when I learned that vodka goes with just about anything, but not rum.

I might have gotten drunker that night than any other in my life. And why not? After all, it was an Irish wedding. My cousin's wedding. Her cousin's wedding. Our cousin's wedding. In case I might have forgotten, my grandmother's nurse was kind enough to remind me: "You know she's your cousin, right?"

I didn't much care. Or wouldn't have cared, had there been a reason not to. We danced. I don't dance, but we danced. We drank. We sat together on the bus back to Middleton. I think we may have fallen asleep. I don't remember how or why, but I didn't go back to the hotel. I went to her father's house. I think I might have prayed to the porcelain god - that would have been the rum and the vodka fighting it out.

We fell asleep on the sofa. I don't know why, but I'm sure it was a sofa, not a couch, even though I still don't know the difference. In any case we fell asleep on it, and woke up on it. All I remember of that is how peaceful it felt, how right, falling asleep like that, waking up to find our arms wrapped around each other, so close and yet so far.

There was nothing even remotely sexual, or even romantic, about any of it. It just felt good to be beside her. God she was beautiful. And so sad, it seemed. I knew she was married. I knew she wasn't happy. I knew that her husband, I think his name was John, was an asshole. That's what everybody said, anyways. I wondered why he wasn't there with her, at her cousin's wedding, at her father's house. She had said he had to work, but the looks on the faces of the others when she said that told me it wasn't so.

So what of it? I met a distant cousin, we seemed to hit it off in some sort of way, we had a really nice evening enjoying each other's company. We traded addresses and promised to keep in touch. And we did, for a short while. She wrote, I wrote back, she wrote back, I didn't. Her last letter scared me, so I put it off, meaning to write, but never did. I just didn't know how to deal with the awkwardness of it.

All these years later, I know there was something there, some unspoken connection between us. When two people meet and just take to each other, like that old cliché about how it feels like you've known each other forever, there is something there. At the very least, a friendship that could have been lasting and true. Maybe more, maybe not. I'll never know.

But hey, I saved myself from some awkwardness.


Miss Ash said...

Whoops. Or good job? Or hell?

French Bean & Coffee Bean said...

That was indeed a bit awkward, even if you two hit it off.

(Again, very well-written, Legacy.)

-Barb the French Bean

suzzy said...

You should have written back to her. But I guess you know this by now. The door opens and then it shuts and you never know for how long.

NYC AD said...

Wow. I love reading your stuff Legacy.

Kate Mohler said...

Hey Legacy, this is one of my favorite posts by you! Very real and open-hearted...pretty sad. I loved it!

Just Me said...

This is so my kind of stuff? Hey Lagacy, what if was a mom with kids, would have been more awkward, right, nevertheless the preciousness of the connection would not be any less.