The last week of January, the wifewoman asked, “You know who’s having an important birthday next week, don’t you?”
I hate questions like that, ‘cause the answer is always ‘no’. Why not just cut to the chase and tell me already?
“D.J.., she’s turning” …well, D.J. ain’t never going to be able to say that I put her real age right out there on the intraweb, so let’s just say “mature” and be done with that part of it. “I want to go the party. You can drive me.” It’s two hundred and fifty miles away. Drinks will be drunk. Illegal substances will be consumed. Before the evening is over, the brain-to-mouth filters will fail. Things will be shouted that shouldn’t even be whispered. At least one fist-fight will break out. People will awaken with hangovers and sour mouths and a delicious breakfast will not be fully appreciated. It will be a party, in other words.
Thanks, I guess. I hate this. I never like it when those two women get together, because they’re best friends. And I was dating D.J. when I met this girl who ended up my wife. When they get together there is always a lot of whispering, and significant glances my way, and then giggling. Bitchez be crazy. Besides, I hunt with D.J.’s husband. I like my hunting companions to be calm, and not thinking too hard about things that happened decades ago and have no bearing on present life. Especially when they are carrying scoped, high-powered rifles and I have a thin skin, and bleed easily. I like life calm, orderly, predictable. Kinda safe, even. No, really. I like life safeish. I just don’t live life safe. Life is risky, if you’re having any fun, but I still like sort-of-safe. It is a puzzlement. But, you know how it is; I drove her down to Arkansas and we partied hardy.
If you live long enough, you get to meet interesting people, if you pay attention. One party guest was a Judge, and we got to talking. We were both soberish. He was sober as a Judge, anyways. He asked me a question during the course of the evening. Paraphrasing, “If you had to, do you think that you could you feed this county’s population with nothing but what is in the county?”
“Sure, but not legally. You’d need martial law.”
We had an interesting conversation on how to do it, and who you’d need to do it, and how long you could do it. I’ve never had that sort of conversation with someone with political power, and I wonder why they’d be asking the question.
We live in what is soon to be interesting times, I think. People are starting to ask the sort of questions that are worrisome. I don’t like that. I like it calm, safeish, but fun as Friday night after payday. I liked America, back when it still was America, as I knew it.
I don’t like this place nearly as much. But here I am.