A Colorado number flashed across the screen, having no idea who it was I hit decline call. The number it kept calling and a voicemail was left. It was Steve, he was in town on business and wanted to catch up. Steve was Charlie’s associate, together they wore their white hats and fought for justice. I haven’t seen Steve since 2012, he met me at The Butcher and the Boar, being a partner has aged him, yet his smile was still the same.
He spotted me and came running over, the man gives good hugs. He asked “do you still drink the same?” Yes I said, my whiskey on the rocks with a twist of lime was ordered and our waitress lead us to our table. Steve talked about his new cases, life as a partner, and mostly how he realized that he could never fill Charlie’s shoes. Agriculture Business Law is a tough game, but the payoff and recognition are worth the long hours. We talked about the big three, GMOs, and seed copyrights. Boring to some but highly entertaining to me.
Steve loves to tell me stories about Charlie. Stories of how Charlie had to search every town and airport for a candy shop to bring me strangely shaped gummy candies. Steve quickly caught on to the silly tradition and helped Charlie in his search. Eye balls, that was the strangest thing they ever found for me and the eye balls were so life like I refused to eat them. They are still in my freezer to this day.
With our bellies full of animals and other deliciousness we set out for a walk on the chilly Minneapolis streets. The Spoon bridge glistened under the lights, I paused for a moment, and allowed myself to remember how much Charlie liked the sculpture. Steve noticed that I paused and asked “what’s going through that head of yours.” Nothing I said. He looked at me grabbed my shoulders and put his forehead to mine and said “I’ve read your blog I know, I know you are hurting.” Full on in public ugly cry, yup I am a cryer and it just all came out. Steve smiled and said “a wise man once told me that board games and whiskey can solve all of life’s problems.”
I’ve heard those words numerous times and they brought me comfort. I walked Steve back to the W and was going to head home, He stopped me and said come up to my room for a second. I laughed and said no I am good, the dog he needs me. Steve wasn’t taking no for an answer, so I amused him and followed. Up in the room he repeated “a wise man once told me that board games and whiskey can solve all of life’s problems.” He pulled Checkers out of his suitcase, a bottle of whiskey from a brown bag and two Dixie cups.
I took of my coat and proclaimed, “I get to be red and I get to go first.” Deal! With each checker moved my BFF breakup and crappy October melted into the board. Steve listened carefully and interjected when necessary. Through others I was able to see that Gopher Guy was my bottom and I, I can do better. Steve said to me “you deserve someone who is going to stand up and change the status quo and not please the masses.” Those words made me smile. Steve was right, I deserve someone who is going to vouch for me and protect me. Not someone who tucks me in their pocket and keeps me a secret from their friends. I don’t want to be someone’s secret pocket friend or girlfriend for that matter. I am never going to be someone’s pocket friend or pocket crush again. If you like me own it and who gives a fuck what people think. Just remember no one ever erected a statute to a critic.
Charlie was somewhat right, board games and whiskey can’t create world peace, however they do provide a much needed distraction from life. A couple games of Checkers and Steve’s perspective were exactly what I needed.