the two men were pretty much wasted by the time the second bottle was empty. alberto had gone from the ground to the lawn chair and back several times. a few of the times on his own volition. day had gone to night and the kentucky sky was ablaze with thousands of stars. from his position on the ground and on his back, ablberto had tried counting them but lost track and then began to mumble odd lines from shakespeare.
the mumbling woke up boo who was sitting on the cooler with his head resting on the back wall of the pump house. he wasn’t quite sure where he was for a moment or two then he remembered the very odd day it had been and his new found friend, alberto. who he discovered soon enough, was the mumbling culprit. boo let alberto mumble along for a bit after realizing the man had a pretty good knowledge of old bill or whoever the hell the writer was. finally boo got up off of the cooler and nudged alberto with his foot.
‘ok, amigo. it’s time for some dinner and another jug of dago red. get up and let’s get to cooking.’
alberto stopped his mumbling in mid quote and got up. a bit unsteady but upright. the longer he was up the better off he was. by then, boo had found another jug and had it opened and was handing alberto another glass of the old california vine nectar.
‘i have a huge bone-in rib eye in the kitchen someplace. hopefully, under refrigeration. i’m going to go find it. you, my friend, will start the bbq. it’s right over there. charcoal and fluid as well. please try not to end up like me ok? i’ll be back anon. and we can moan about poor yorick while the fire settles in.’
trying not to drop the wine glass, alberto managed to find a spot to set it down. then he looked around for the grill. he found it and the rest of the stuff he needed and had a nice chemical fire raging in the grill when boo returned.
‘this will take awhile to get right. i’m gonna need another glass, please.’
pouring his guest another round from the jug boo told him he had found the steak and it was sitting on the sink getting to room temperature while marinating with some olive oil, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper. he also found a few zucchini and yellow squash they could put on the grill as well. alberto nodded and drank some of his wine.
‘you were lucky. you missed nam. i wish i’d been so lucky. though it could have been worse, i suppose. i mean i could have ended up like you. or worse. no offense.’
‘you know when i got back i didn’t want anyone to know i’d been there. oh, my friends knew but i was reluctant to tell someone i’d just met that i had been there. we weren’t looked upon very favorably at the time. and i’m still not so sure we are to this day. though it doesn’t matter as much to me as it did back then. fuck it, don’t mean nothing, as the saying went.’
‘i know. i know. the only thing i’m gonna say about korea again is i loved the ladies. i miss them.’
‘me too. ah, vietnamese ladies that is. though i do have a fond place in my heart for a number of korean ladies i’ve met over the years.’
‘i haven’t met any ladies at all for a good number of years.’
the fire was dampening down and the conversation began to as well. the men poured each other another glass of vino and stood there in the light of the fire silently drinking. boo left and went back into the house. an outside light came on and was immediately surrounded by every bug within the confines of the city of nod. or so it seemed.
boo came out of the house carrying a tray with the steak and squash. he put it down by the fire.
‘alberto, i’ll get these going if you’ll go score us another bottle of some better stuff. not that it really matters at this point but i have some righteous vino in the kitchen. it’s in the third cupboard on the right as you look at the sink. it’s been waiting for a dinner such as this and i think now is it’s time. grab the loaf of french bread in the bread box too. we’ll eat out here with the bugs. i’ll drag a table out of the pump house.’
with that the two men set about doing their respective chores in further silence. the only sound was the bugs and the steak and veggies sizzling on the grill. when boo announced that their dinner was ready, alberto pulled the cork on the bottle of wine he had collected from the kitchen. noting the cork, he knew the wine had sat a longtime in the cool darkness of the cupboard.
the steak was tender and probably the best either man had eaten in a long time. the veggies were cooked to perfection as well. the french bread crunchy and tasty. the wine was a true nectar of the gods, even with their advanced stage of inebriation they knew few people ever drank anything better.
soon the long odd day came to a close. too drunk to drive, alberto spent the night in a guest room. barely managing to get undressed before he passed out. almost immediately he began dreaming of vietnamese women from long ago. boo, up in his master bedroom, was in the same semi sad shape as his guest. though he did manage to get into bed and turn out the light before passing out. he dreamed of korean ladies and long languid luxurious massages.
you can find my partners odd numbered episodes to this story right