Scene: Seven Grand whiskey bar, downtown Los Angeles
“Is the whiskey gone?”
“It wasn’t meant to be.”
“It was meant to be in my belly.”
This was going to be an interesting first introduction. He’d had a meeting with Australian clients so wasn’t able to make the tasting. I had not formally invited him to the meeting of this month’s Whiskey Society but thought it might be a good place to say hello regardless.
At this point, however, it had been 7 glasses of delectable and old (forty four years was the oldest) rare whiskeys for this Little Girl in the Big City. And while I wasn’t three sheets to the wind, I was most certainly bubbly.
“I didn’t eat. Do you know of anywhere around here we could get something?”
Of course I did. However by the time we arrived the kitchen was closed.
“I’m sorry. It just closed.”
“Let me get you a drink at least. What would you like?”
“Can you make a Mad Hatter?”
“The bartenders looked at each other. Neither of them could.
“I guess I’ll take a 1920s Cosmo.”
He and I had discussed drinks in emails. He’d made comments on my complicated tastes in drinks… and about even being aware of the Whiskey Society’s existence.
“That sounds too easy for you. Are you sure you don’t want something else?”
“A gin gimlet perhaps?”
The bartender smiled and so did I.
“I’d like to make you a gin gimlet.”
And so it went.
I found myself apologizing for the strange introduction. It was his first time meeting someone from online. He was newly divorced and single. Fresh to Los Angeles. Extremely. He had moved up here March 1st.
At the back of my mind I feared impending disaster. I had nearly cancelled this introduction- or postponed at least until the next day- to allow for a certain programmer to have the evening. Maybe that was jinxing it from the beginning. I’ll never know. But worrying about it wouldn’t do me any good either.
The conversation was going well. He was adorable. Much more my speed than the programmer had been. The conversation was fluid and not forced.
I got a call while we were sitting there talking about our exes. Another doomed conversation perhaps. It was my ex calling to apologize- at midnight- that he wouldn’t be able to hang out and wishing me a good time at my tasting.
“You know, if you’d be open to it. I’d love to re-meet you tomorrow on a sober note.”
We were having a good time. He went to bring me home.
The conversation continued to pour on. Quip after quip after…
“I know a place that has food that’s open now!”
I texted my friend to get the exact name. I’d been there frequently but couldn’t remember where exactly it was since I hadn’t needed to drive in months.
The night pressed on. It was fantastic. The first one of it’s kind that I’d had since the second goodbye.
“I’m not looking to rush into anything right now. My last ex wanted to marry me. And then, well… things were… All I want to do is live moment to moment and see where it takes me.”
Tango with words. It begins this moment. But for how many neither of us could be sure.