We arrived and took up our usual table at Patty’s. Jeff ordered. “A bottle of your cheapest goat piss, please.”
The waitress grimaced. “You mean our house wine?”
I gave her a sympathetic smile. “Yes. Red, please.”
Jeff continued, “And two burgers with fries, please. Put it all on my bill.”
“Dude, why are you feeling so rich today? You run into some money?”
“Ha! Don’t think I don’t know what day tomorrow is. Happy birthday!”
Now it was my turn to grimace. “Shit. Don’t bother with that! I don’t celebrate birthdays.”
This conversation was taking a turn to the Schadenfreude portion of my life. But Jeff’s a good shit. No reason why I shouldn’t try to answer him. “I just see no need to celebrate the fact that I have spent another year on this planet while managing to keep from being run over by a city bus. I haven’t done anything special.”
The goat piss arrived. Jeff filled our glasses. “Horseshit.”
“Yes. Horseshit. A list:
- You have two cool-ass kids.
- You have made many friends since you moved into the city.
- People seem to be truly enjoying your songs at your weekly open stage.
- You seem to be feeling better. You haven’t been as grumpy, so I think the antidepressants are doing their job.
- You’ve even gone out on some fun dates.
The last point made me wince a little, but I had to admit he was right: The past few years had been buggers, including this one, but the tail end of the year had improved. I was actually dealing with some bouts of unexpected happiness once in a while. I finished my glass, while Jeff continued. “So stop shitting on our celebration, and refill your glass.”
And so we drank. The goat piss had rarely been finer.