Six years without a drink of alcohol, or drugs, even prescribed drugs, but that changed when Alena left. Maybe a month, 6 weeks after she left I couldn’t find a reason not too?
“Smoke some pot, get high, feel good, forget her.” That’s what I told myself.
I seemed to be the only person not smoking marijuana where I was working, so it was easy enough to score a bag for myself.
It was winter, and bitter cold.
Woke up early Saturday morning, probably 5 or 5:30 AM, and had eggs and bacon for breakfast.
My brother had mentioned that he needed me to help him do something with his horses but I wasn’t sure if it was still on, or not.
I needed to call him, but this was before the days of the cell phone, and the phone company hadn’t turned my phone on yet.
“Sometime next week” the phone company lady had told me the day before.
It was about 6:30 that morning as I rolled a joint and wondered where I could find a phone to call Ricky about the horses.
I remembered there was a phone, a pay phone, on the wall just inside of the local Kroger grocery store.
“Wow, this pot is good in the morning” I thought as I relaxed from the inside out.
The buzz was rich, and I was baked as I walked around the house wondering where I had thrown my coat down when I came in last night?
Finally found the coat, drove the mile or so to Kroger, and felt the bite of the January wind chill in Mississippi as I hurried across the near empty parking lot.
The phone was right where I had remembered it being as the automatic doors opened and then closed behind me.
I picked up the receiver, dropped my quarter in the slot, and couldn’t remember to save my life who I was going to call.
“This is really some good pot” I thought.
After standing there for a couple of minutes, or maybe 2 hours, I couldn’t say for sure, I decided to walk around the store until it came to me.
Until I remembered why I had come to Kroger to use the pay phone?
I walked to the far side of the store, in front of the empty registers, then walked around looking down each of the empty aisles.
I was killing time and waiting for my brain to wake up when I saw a shopper leaning over the meat counter, inspecting the hamburger meat.
A woman in a waist length black fur coat with a black derby looking hat pulled down over her ears.
She was wearing red plaid knee length shorts, black shoes, black hose, dark brown hair, tucked down into the top of her fur coat.
She looked up to see me looking at her as we smiled at each other and I walked on by.
Enough was enough, and the other half of that joint was calling me, so I headed back across the parking lot.
As I got comfortable in the seat of my gray ford work van and started the engine a thought struck me, like a bolt of lightening from nowhere. Like a bolt of lightening from a clear blue sky.
“No! That’s wrong! You don’t need to leave! Don’t miss this chance! Go back in there and talk to that woman who smiled at you!
Go! Don’t miss this chance!”