Vicky and I were at home with the kids one night just before Christmas, when a strange visitor came to the door. I seem to remember knowing him so we invited him in. He couldn’t stay long, he said. Could we get him a drink? Yes, he told us, and then proceeded to describe a strange and oddly specific mix. It was a punch of some kind, with brandy, and peppermint stick around the rim of the glass.
Vicky and I hurried into the kitchen. What could we do? We didn’t have half of the ingredients. So, we fudged the punch and, in place of brandy, we found some fruit-infused tequila. Vicky was amazing at crumbling the peppermint stick and getting it to stick to the rim of the glass.
“Here we go,” I said, bringing it out.
But before he took the drink, the stranger began asking me all kinds of questions about ethics. My ethics. And when I pushed him to take the drink, he said, “Oh, I can’t drink that. I’m on the wagon. That drink is for you.” At which time, he said his goodbyes and was off. I leaned against the doorjam, holding the drink, and wondered what that was all about.
And I opened my eyes and found my arm raised as though I was leaning on a doorjam. I was in bed. And thought of his questions, along with the drink – and the ethical dilemma that represented – haunted me.
But for only a second. Then, the alarm went off.
Boy, does my timing suck.