This is how I feel this morning. Went out with a couple homies last night, Tennessee and his Black Sheep friend. Started early enough at a good Mexican place. Not Mexican, really. Kinda/sorta. It is upscale Hispanic. The barmaid is from Venezuela and makes the most incredible tequila drinks I've known. She's a real pro. At five-thirty, the place was empty. Tennessee was late, so I ordered a Skinny Margarita like the one I had there before. She remembered me and picked up the conversation just about where we left off a couple weeks ago. We swapped travel tales. She is only 22 years old, so I'm sure my tales made little sense. I did most of my travel in S. America before cell phones, selfies, social media, etc. Hell, we couldn't even call home most of the time. You would have to be in a city and find a place where you could make international calls. I was in Venezuela when the revolution broke out just before the turn of the century, before she was born. She told me about going to Mexico by herself for one day last year and the terror she felt at being kidnapped by slavers. I was stunned. She said she had wanted to see the Basilica de Guadalupe. She believed in the miracles, she said. She had grown up seeing t.v. specials about them her whole life.
"They are real," she said.
I was stunned. I pictured the miracle scene in Fellini's "La Dolce Vita." This was fun.
I was a scotch and a Margarita in by the time Tennessee showed up. He ordered a drink and we kibitzed more with the barmaid before ordering two Carne Asadas. Halfway through the meal, the Black Sheep arrived. More drinks. More talk. It had been a good night. It should have stayed that way.
"O.K. boys, I'm gonna bounce," I said. It was seven-thirty. It could be an early bed.
"You want to go back and sit on his deck and drink and smoke cigars," Tennessee asked Black Sheep.
What could I say? At least the house was clean. The maids had arrived just as I was heading to dinner.
Drinks were drunk. Cigars were smoked. Ribald tales were told. Plans were made. Life would be fun, fishing for marlin out of Palm Beach. Surfing in Costa Rica. Fuck. . . we were all going to Berlin for the decadence.
That's the way drunken men talk before they go back to business and their wife comes home.
When I woke up this morning, I thought the night had been good for me, that I had learned a lesson and would go back to my healthiest ways. I would shun smoke and drink, would take anti-inflammatory supplements and things that were good for my gut. I would eat fruits and vegetables and fermented foods. I would never let boys come to my house again.
As I write, I blow my nose. I feel as if I have caught a cold. The Black Sheep has a hard week. His socialite fiancé has broken it off, says she never wants to see him again. She is coming today to take her stuff. He wants to get back the $30,000 engagement ring. I have a feeling that won't happen. I'm supposed to help Tennessee get back something from a former tenant today. I don't really understand what we are doing, but O.K. His wife comes back to town on Sunday and party boy will be back on his leash.
Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The holiday season is blowing by. The hardest part, though, lies ahead. God knows what future horrors are to come.