Running into Keith at the Natch in town was just what the doctor ordered. At first he was unrecognizable with his sunglasses. This was because of the mirror effect of his shades. When he took them off I realized I had been looking at myself. We were by the grapefruit and I had already put two into my basket along with French green lentils and some buckwheat groats.
Hey, he said and I then thought it was the perfect timing to tell him that we were sober with a capital we and that was why Oscar was not working for him any longer. I didn't say I had basically forced him to quit between the hurricane in August and the approach of the lava ever since. And here it was just a few days after Valentine's. Yeah, he said, I could tell because he didn't just have one when we...after work.
Keith seemed a little drunk, holding a six pack and filthy from working. It was President's Day around six pm and of course he would be on his way home. You're not saying you have a problem, too, he said. Well yes, it is me too that we are keeping sober. I thought he had his upper body step back a little fake but who was I to judge. Keith had a long drive home ahead of him through a nightmare of stop and go traffic and electric company rigs out repairing downed lines from the recent storm.
I was a drunk as a kid. I began in sixth grade, I said. A drunk girl. It took me until I was in my early thirties to get sober...and I said a few more things.
I could tell he had promptly left the conversation but was smiling painfully at me. I noticed my horrible breath from when I ate that cheese Danish at Starbucks. Well, bye, I said. Tell Oscar hi from me, Keith said. Oh, and tell him that I found out more on my family background, that I'm from Sardinia and France, not German. He'll get a kick out of that. I will, I said, and watched him walk towards the counter. Beyond, the big glass doors were framing dense, green covered slopes, vog blanketing it all.