It wasn’t that I ordered the martini, or drank the martini and didn’t have a second. It wasn’t that she had a martini. After all, it was lunch with the girls, two for one, a few hours before I left town.
We hadn’t seen each other in a long while. Although we’d enjoyed a few socially acceptable wine and cheese fests, nothing seemed out of the ordinary until the second week of my visit. Behind the wheel of her car, at her computer, or walking on the beach as we chatted about the Haitian earthquake or our kids, the conversation magically steered itself toward the word “drink”.
In spite of self-help advice to the contrary, if you feel like running away from a problem, challenge, crisis, person or place, get going. You may have responsibilities, contracts, moral imperatives, and a car that needs a tune-up. Get in the car anyway and just go. Move. You’ll end up, at least temporarily, in a situation that is worse than the one you ran away from, but you will at least be away from something or someone that enticed you out of your complacency and into the realm of the sublime, i.e. A Comfort Inn in the retirement metro area known as Sun City, Florida. A place so far from where you want to be that you like it because it deduces each moment of your life into a fragment of pure disgust at American Culture. Yes, I ran away from something unpleasant in Savannah and then Sarasota, clocking 1,672 miles on my old Volvo, only to find myself writhing out of a bi-polar agony into a rapturous hysteria at the fact that I was comfortably comfortable at a Comfort Inn watching dead bodies being bulldozed past their relatives in Haiti. A big, beautiful TV Screen pummeled me with spitballs of media packaged terror, interrupted by advertisements for Thermacare pain reliever patches and Quietus, for ear ringing relief drops. I had found the ideal location to watch the horror. I decided, because the Haitians were dying of thirst, to drink the Sun City tap water, and while lying in bed I allowed one foot to dangle outside the comfort zone of my blanket. My toes felt a slight chill, but I was steadfast. If I had not Pulled a Runner, I would not have experienced tap water or the automatic almost dead zone of Sun City. It was cloudy.