At ten o’clock he was in his bed drinking hot sake. Slowly he poured it into the small, white cup, and he could see the steam rising from the curvy pitcher that he then sat on his nightstand. He had his ashtray next to that and he was under the covers, his back propped up with pillows. He sat and sipped the drink and read the papers, reading as far as he could into each story until he became bored with the writing.
That’s pretty much all there is these days, he thought, going along with something until you get tired of it.
Oh well, he thought, that’s why I like me a thick paper.
He was almost finished with it when he heard the bell ring. He dressed and put his shoes on and went down. It was his friend.
“It’s late,” he told him.
“Come on, pops,” his friend said, “Stay up past ten for Christ’s sake. I’ve got a bottle here,” and he held up the bottle.
“All right,” he said, “I’ll have one drink.”
When they walked into the kitchen the friend said, “Do you have any limes?”
“In the fridge.”
“Get out some ice, too.”
“There should be plenty.”
They poured the tequila over the ice and squeezed the lime. They sat at the table.
“Okay,” the friend said, “Go on. Ask me about it.”
“You’re home a little early to be asking about it.”
“Oh, don’t judge it that way,” the friend said, “She has an early morning.”
“Will you just ask me about it?”
“All right,” he said, “How was it?”
“It was the most romantic evening of my life.”
And then he rolled his eyes and said, “You always have something good to say in the beginning.”
“Sure,” his friend said, “But if not now, when?”