Some of us woke up this morning asking, what happened? Did I drink that much? Did I really say and do that? Oh, I remember the days. And boy, did I sublimate last night at the wickedly fine party I attended. Delicious fun. More of everything that I can recall in years. Not just pastas and dips -- even vegetarian ones, made of guacamole -- and cheeses galore, and olives, all favorites, but choices of pies. A brilliant hostess, Ann, part genius mind, part genius cook and mother, laid out chocolate cream pies, pecan pies, cream puffs, gingerbread cookies and chocolates as if for Santa and his elves. Children unwrapped gigantic gifts and adults unraveled with laughter and drink.
I have very funny friends. They always make me laugh. They can be counted on to make a party. They are really remarkably talented that way. On special occasions, they also drink. All the stuff, the best of the best I used to drink, and some stuff I wish I had tasted when I could. Every time they downed a shot, I had to remind myself of what I might feel like tomorrow if I drank that. Ninety proof Padron Tequila -- where was that in my drinking days? And that bourbon whose mere scent put me over the edge. It's OK to enjoy vicariously what I can't have. I learned long ago I can't have everything. That's what makes me not a child.
My friends drink and party like there's no tomorrow. Like I used to in my 20s. None of us are that age anymore. And one of us is gone this year. We toasted to him. Dear Joe, someone else you could always count on for a laugh and smile. We toasted to him. He too used to eat like the best of them, and he actually drank less. But life took him anyway. Took him so fast, he surely didn't know what happened. He probably went out laughing or smiling over something in memory.
It's great to have friends who, when you think of them, always make you smile or laugh. My friends always make me do that. But some also worry me. I'd love to see them live a long time, full of happiness and love to give and also to receive. Maybe it's a thought I shouldn't dwell on, but it dances in the back of my mind, behind all the merriment every time we get together and dive over the edge into cascades of endless bliss and good times.