For some reason, I was thinking about you today. Trying to remember all the details, your crooked long nose, the way you spoke, how the girls listened. Your Welsh accent and European clothes. It was all so easy.
You sensed want on people, their eagerness to know you, to be you and around you. Words even when acidic were lyrical to those you insulted. By nights end, everyone sounded like you.
We would put two packs of cigarettes and a bottle or two of scotch on the table under the darkness of winter, drink until the smoke formed clouds on the third floor of your odd one bedroom apartment you shared with your girlfriend.
We raced down the road. You in your BMW and me in the Buick. My couch on steroids verses your top down road hugger. I beat you on the straight path, the curves loved you. But most of all I remember how when I moved away, with my wife, way out on the east end, you would make a country ride out of coming to see me.
Car top down, you and your lovely girlfriend going out of your way, the whole way, taking the back roads. The point of moving out there was solitude. Far enough away where people would have to make an effort. Weeding out the meaningless conversation from everyday encounters. You encompassed that on every ride.
When the whole clan was there, you always showed up, 100 dollar bottles of wine in your hand. You knew the wife loved good wine. Somehow you and I always found ourselves with a bucket of ice and some good scotch out by the fire pit.
My divorced cousin asked you, like Americans do, “What do you do?”.
“Rum runner” you said.
Your wallet impressed her the most but her false cares didn’t impress you. She asked for months “Who was that friend of yours?”
I called you Andy, the name you hated the most.
“His name is Andy.”
Because that was all she needed to know.
It was all you wanted her to know.
Then the dot com bubble burst, millions of dollars were lost, dreams extinguished and lives crushed.
You moved to a fishing village somewhere in Spain, fell in love for the first time, like nothing ever happened. It was always so easy for you.