There are these funny stories in my head of happenstance encounters and stupid things I’ve done, that I probably should put down to the page before they get lost in the tumbling shuffle of my mind. Flashback to about four months ago:
So it’s two o’clock in the morning, and the bar is closing. I’m that perfect amount of intoxicated where I still want to go out and hang out, but I’m not entirely, absolutely, one-hundred-percent in control of all my faculties. There’s this girl that I’ve been seeing for the past few weeks, and every once in a while I give her a call and we hang out. Sometimes we play backgammon, sometimes we just stare out at the stars and have deep introspective conversations.
Tonight feels like a backgammon kind of night. So I scroll through my phone and give her a ring.
“Hullo…?” I can hear her hoarse voice through the speaker as she rubs the sleep from her eyes.
“Hey there, beautiful.” I purr.
“Haha what? I think you have the wrong number.” Her voice sounds familiar. But something is… not quite right.
“What are you wearing?” I slur.
“None of your business. You’ve got the wrong number.” the voice on the other line crackles like tinfoil in the microwave. Yep something is definitely wrong here. I feel a momentary sense of dread, akin to what a Meerkat must feel moments before it is snapped up by the hungry maw of an apex predator.
“Kira?” It’s a question shot into the black expanses of space. A life preserver cast into the ever growing void of my own confusion.
“Yes.” she answers impatiently.
I know this voice, but something just… isn’t meshing. And I am either too drunk or too stupid to figure it out. Like when you’re having an amazing dream where you’re fighting off the bad guys and saving the princess and right when you’re about to kiss her she turns into your Great Aunt Gertrude.
And suddenly it all clicks.
I peel my phone away from my burning cheek and stare down at the screen. Y’know how they say a cold shower or a hot cup of coffee is a good way to sober up after a night of drinking? I’ve found a better solution.
This was not the girl I play backgammon with at two o’clock in the morning. No no no, this was my old Bosses wife; a kindly middle-aged woman who I worked with at my old restaurant job. The woman who was always making sure I ate enough vegetables with my employee meal. The woman who constantly gave me relationship advice on how to find a “nice girl” instead of a “crazy one”. The woman whose kids I helped with their homework during downtime, and helped unsnarl their bike chains so they could ride around in endless looping circles in the parking lot behind the building. She was part Mother figure, part mentor, part all around nice lady. And I…
(in all my infinite wisdom and clarity)
… just drunk dialed her at 2am.
She and the other “Kira” both had the same first name, and their last names were almost identical save for two letters. Easy to notice sober, especially easy to miss drunk.
*Click* I hang up as fast as I can. Maybe she’ll think this was all a dream. Any alcohol left in my system has been quickly purged and replaced by the swift flow of embarrassment coursing through my veins, side effects including a painful awareness of each agonizing second and syllable I spent on the phone making an ass of myself. Even if she doesn’t remember it, my name and number will still show up in her caller ID log. Gah.
– – – –
It’s eleven o’clock in the morning the next day when my phone rings. Mother-Hen-Kira is calling.
“Hey Kira, I’m so sorry…” I stammer, even though she is miles away my hands shield my face in shame.
“It was very nice hearing from you last night.” She begins. “How have you been?”
She asks me about work. She asks me if I’ve been eating my vegetables. She tells me about how before there were cell phones, boys would actually have to call a girl at her house, so when a boy drunk-dialed, usually it was a pissed off father answering the phone instead. And suddenly, all my face-palming-shame is washed away.
“Next time, maybe don’t call so late. Be a good boy.” The conversation ends.
I am an idiot. But at least I’m an idiot with good people in my life.
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