Where’s my bottle of wine? he asked. The red. I think it’s a Cabernet. Or, maybe a Pinot Noir. Bottle that says Mark West on it, the old man fumbled around in the kitchen. Where the hell could it be? Did you drink it? he asked his wife. I said, did you drink it? the old lady started singing to herself. Humming the song One Day At A Time Sweet Jesus. Hey, he said. I’m asking a question here. Did you drink my wine? the humming got louder. I know when you’re guilty of something. You can’t keep a secret, he lit a cigarette. Just tell me the truth. Did you drink my wine?
No. I did not. I don’t drink wine. Or anything else for that matter.
Listen to you. Ms. pretty britches. Never got stained. Who do you think you’re talking to? You think I’m some kind of stranger? Think I don’t know you? Forty-five years. I know you. You sneak sips. You take gulps when Im not looking. Red, white, whiskey, it don’t matter. You steal from me.
I do not. ‘Sides. We’re married. How could it be stealing?
So you do drink from my stash.
I’m saying if I did. Which I don’t. I go to those meetings for Christ’s sake.
They give me peace of mind.
Wine gives you peace of mind, he started looking under wooden cabinets.
I like the way the folks make me feel. We’re all just one big group with the same problem.
What would that problem be?
The old man laughed. He went looking in the bathroom where he found a bottle of Wild Turkey behind the toilet. There was a little bit left. Maybe a shot. He downed it and hid the empty bottle back behind the toilet again. He’d throw it away in the middle of the night when she was asleep. He smiled. Looked in his billfold. There was a ten and a five in there. Just enough, he said. Just enough.
Where you going? she asked.
To find peace.