[Going through some old journals, I came across some entries about an encounter I had once upon a time in a far away land — by which I mean at a pub in Vancouver about seven years ago. This is the story, as best as I can piece it together now.]
I was standing at a urinal looking at a poster advertising a beer that probably had a lower alcohol content than my piss when the guy who was at the table next to me, the guy who kept making jokes about the massive size of his dick (which prompted some seemingly good-natured eye-rolling from his tablemates), walked in and stood at the urinal next to me.
“Moment of truth,” I said to myself.
The fellow glanced over at me when I spoke but I don’t know if he heard exactly what I had said or if he was simply wondering why the guy at the other urinal was talking to himself.
Back at my table later that night, I stopped writing and closed my computer. I had passed the point of drunk-creative and was more at the stage of drunk-happy-just-to-do-nothing-but-drink-more. I continued to order pints and step out to the patio every now and again for a smoke. I stayed under the overhang and watched the rain appear and disappear as it blew beneath the streetlights. There are joys to drinking at night in every season — in the spring when the weather first warms up and you can go to a patio for the first time, in the summer at a campsite by the ocean with the mountains rising up behind you, in the winter cuddled up under a blanket and trading secret kisses with a lover — but always in the fall in the rain with the wind blowing was when I felt most wild and free.
When I returned to my table, I noticed that the dick next to me was now by himself. He nodded at me and I smiled because I like talking to strangers when I’m drunk. I ask them to tell me things people almost never discuss in bars when they are trying to get laid, trying to get happy, or trying to forget – their greatest joys, their hidden sorrows, their hopes and dreams – and it’s amazing what people will tell me when they, too, are drunk and find someone who is willing to listen. So, yes, I smiled and nodded and he got up and asked to bum a cigarette.
“I reckon I’ll have another as well.” He was talking about himself before we got out the door and I took that as a good sign. Lighting up, I took advantage of his first drag to say: “Tell me a secret you’ve never told anyone else.” He paused and eyeballed me awhile while he cupped his cigarette in his hand and blew smoke out of the side of his mouth. Then, as best as I can recollect it, this is what he said: