I wasn’t in the mood for “war stories” this morning so I left the meeting early. I called Shep and told him, “I just had to leave and talk seriously to someone.”
“So, what you’re sayin’ is you dialed the wrong number.”
“No, man. I talk seriously with you sometimes.”
“And this is one of those times? Okay, I guess I have time for ya.”
“Jeez, what’ve I got to do…drink?”
“Don’t do that, man,” he said feigning concern. “Just think how you’re gonna feel if you make it back, and that’s a big if, if you make it back, barely able to walk coz you’re shakin’ so bad but barely able to walk through the club house door, flop down into a chair, think how you’re gonna feel shakin’, rattlin’ and dry heavin’ through a war story meetin’.”
“Awww,” I screamed. “That would be awful.” And then I told him bout how, when I lived in California in the 70’s, signed up for junior college just so I could tell my aunt I was goin’ so I could leave early in the mornin’ with an empty book bag, stop at the liquor store to fill it up w/ O.E. and White Port wine and take my time walkin’ to school w/ a drink in my hand and reinforcements on my back.
I didn’t have to tell Shep but I told him anyhow bout how, after takin’ my time gettin’ to RJC, I’d go directly to my favorite study room in the library, shut the window blinds, lock the door, sit down and smoke a joint. Then, I’d go to my lecture class and spend the entire time fixated on the young lady seated in the row in front of me, seated to my right.
Then I had to say, “Sorry, Shep. I’m tellin’ a war story.”
“It’s okay, Joe, I’m hangin’ up on ya as we speak.”