Names Withheld to Protect the Guilty

“Dude!” I hear someone say as I stand in line at the grocery store.

I turn and see a somewhat familiar face behind me in line, pushing a cart full of Bud Light and Margarita mixes.

“Hey” I responded, lacking any better comeback.

“How ya been, man?”

“Been good, you?” I look at him quizzically.

“Ben, man, remember?”

“Oh yeah” I said scraping the corners of my brain to remember this person.

“We used to party all the time, remember?”

“Oh, I remember. How ya doing?”

“Awesome. Getting ready for a big weekend at the house.” he points to his cart full of alcohol. He motions me to come closer to him which I hesitantly oblige. “You know where I can get some weed, man?”

I snort out a laugh, trying unsuccessfully to control the strange noise that comes from your nose when you have to laugh, but refuse to open your mouth to let it out. “Man, I haven’t bought that in over 20 years.”

“Has it been that long? Whoa dude, we’re getting old”

I smiled at him and his black Foghat T-shirt that is way too tight on him. “Yeah, I guess we are”

“Man, you want to come over for a drink or something?”

“Nah, don’t drink any more”

“You still hang out over at Timbuktu?” in reference to a dive bar that I spent many a nights closing down.

“Um, no. I get up early to get my daughter to school and since I don’t drink…..” I replied

“Oh yeah….right. You got kids then?”

Although many responses came to mind, several of them referencing Captain Obvious, I simply  responded with a “Yup”

“Me too, but I haven’t seen them in a while. The Ex won’t let me see them for some reason. So dude, you don’t drink, you don’t smoke and you don’t hang out. You must have a REALLY boring life.”

I smiled at him because even though he didn’t mean it as a compliment, after all that I have put myself through, it was probably one of the best compliments I have received in a very, very long time!

About joatmon14

Man in recovery from everything, looking for a little help, inspiration and direction.... Have spent the last 25 years working in big business, getting lost in all the chaos, not feeling like what I did mattered. By no means am I a professional writer nor do I even think I am that good, but it is something I love to do. Getting lost in a world of words, even for just a little while is why I started my blogs. In reality, at the age of 49 I am trying to find my voice. To find my passion. Maybe starting a little late, but better late than never. I write for me, I enjoy reading other's thoughts very much as well and look forward to the day that I can hold an extended, intelligent, meaningful conversation with YOU View all posts by joatmon14

6 responses to “Names Withheld to Protect the Guilty

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