This Post Ends With Whiskey
So the other day I was supposed to meet my friend downtown. She didn’t show up, and she usually isn’t late, so I gave her a call. Turns out I had my dates mixed up, so I figured I’d wander around. We were going to hang out at a coffee shop and then go see a movie, so I figured I might give that a shot. Only I hadn’t brought anything to read, and sitting in a coffee shop by yourself without anything to read can get pretty boring.
So I thought maybe I’d strike up a conversation with a stranger, and see how far I could get. I walked into the coffee shop, no luck. Nobody seemed interesting, or interested in having a chat with some strange guy who can’t keep his days straight. No worries.
I headed over to the bookstore; maybe they’d have something interesting enough. I checked the movie times, and there was something that looked interesting that was starting in a couple of hours. That’s the problem with living in a foreign country where not too many people speak English. When you go to the movies, often times you don’t have much choice.
Not like back home, where I can roll up to a thirty screen multi plex and spend fifteen minutes pondering the many movies starting within the next twenty minutes. Bookstores here are the same. If they do have an English section, there’s sometimes something interesting, sometimes not. Today there wasn’t anything that looked good enough. Back out to the street.
Which way, left or right? Left. I headed left, and figured I’d wander this direction for an hour or so before turning around. That way I’d make it to the 4 pm show. I’d hoped. I wasn’t aware of the incredible adventure I was about to go on.
Once when I was a kid I got lost in the mall. I thought my mom had deserted me. One minute she was there, the next she’d vanished, like in that creepy movie where aliens sucked people right through their bedroom windows.
This lady had this husband, and a kid, or something. Then these weird things started happening, like she’d remember her husband, but nobody else would. It was like he was erased from everybody’s memory but hers. All his pictures, her wedding ring, everything.
Then her son disappeared. Same thing. Nobody remembered him but her. She was all-alone, and everybody, from her best friends to her psychiatrist told her she’d always been alone, and she must be imagining the whole thing.
Only later to find out that aliens were stealing certain people, and erasing the memories of everybody around them. But when they took the people, they would snatch them, and suck them really really fast up into the sky. It was pretty funny, although I’m pretty sure it wasn’t supposed to be. Great set up, but goofy ending.
Anytime they have aliens as the culprits, you know something is fishy. Unless the fish themselves are aliens, in which case you’ve got some serious explaining to.
So there I was on the street, suddenly realizing I had no idea where I was. That was ok, as I sort of remembered some landmarks as I wandered about. Only when I looked around, I couldn’t see any of the landmarks I’d chosen. Perhaps I should have chosen some taller ones.
Suddenly I heard a voice from behind me.
“Son, you look lost.” He said. He sounded as if he had a thick Scottish accent. Only I wasn’t in Scotland. Hadn’t been for years.
“Yea, I was wondering how to get back to theâ€¦” Where was I going?
“The Movie Theater?” He finished my thought for me. How did he do that?
“Up that street, and thenâ€¦” after that I couldn’t understand a word he said, as it was in such a thick Scottish dialect, he could have been sending me to the organ donor hospital for all I knew. I tried following his gestures, but they only told me to head back in the direction where I thought I’d come. Big help Scottish guy.
“Wait, one more time, please. More slowly.” I asked. He repeated the directions, only this time his gestures and words seemed completely different. I wasn’t sure what to make of it.
I was reminded once of a distant relative in New York who explained that if you are lost, and happen to stop someone long enough to ask for directions be careful how they answer. If they give you a short, direct answer, they’re usually being truthful. However, if they give you some long winded answer, they are likely sending you on a wild goose chase to end you up in some location that is further removed from where you thought you’d wanted to go in the first place.
“But first, son, have a dram with me.” He said, putting his hand gently on my shoulder. He motioned his head back, and behind him was a Malt Whiskey bar. I didn’t know they had those in this part of the world.
“What the heck,” I figured. I didn’t really want to see that movie anyway. And it had been long time since I savored a nice single malt.
What happened next, is a story for another day.
(And Now For Something Completely Different)
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