Sunday, December 13, 2009
My friend Jack was going to Niagara so I gave him $50 to buy me a bottle of icewine. But I knew I’d never see the $50 again. Or the icewine. He’d stay at an American side dive, drink his way through the town’s bleak watering holes, probably never see the Falls. He’d never go to Canada because who knows if he has a passport, it’d be too much effort, and he’d say, what’s the big deal, anyway. That $50 would buy himself entertainment: cheap bottled beer, shots of Wild Turkey, a bottle of Thunderbird. He’d eat greasy pizza, chain fast food. Maybe he’d go so far as to buy the icewine but look at it with a curious watery drunken eye, say what the hell, and crack it open, wonder what the big deal was, deeming it an overpriced wine cooler, while squeezing out the last drop. Why he was going was a mystery—he could do all of that at home. He’d return, I’d probably not say anything, a great enabling failure, I know, and neither would he. I might say to him, how was Niagara, and he, drunk, would quickly change the subject, at least for a few months, until he just had to tell me of his exploits.