As his eyes opened and the sunlight cut through his retinas he felt around to make sure he was alone. It had to have been the second bottle of Champagne. It always was.
He shuffled to the kitchen one naked foot and one socked foot in front of the other. His counter needed a chalk outline around the General Tso's he . . .
He had vowed long ago never to ask a bartender to "surprise" him. He had also vowed never to smoke again. The sweet drifting scent of cured Virginia tobacco that followed him into the bar proved he had a problem keeping his vows.
Being a simple drinker he liked to keep things easy: gin when the sun was up and . . .
It was a warmer day than it was supposed to be and he was either too late for lunch or too early for a cocktail. Nothing sounded all that good but as he was both hungry and thirsty the problem needed to be solved. A proper conundrum for a Friday afternoon.
He found a place that had a wooden sign set up advertising oysters, . . .
He reached for the tall heavy-bottomed crystal shaker he had used almost every day for as long as he could remember. It was a gift from his mother-in-law from some fancy place whose name he had forgotten. The sticker that signified it legitimate had long been removed the same way he always pulled the band off of a cigar before he . . .
Shaking hands with everyone was becoming tiresome and he didn't know any of these people. The invite was a surprise when it came and he couldn't remember how he had actually met the happy groom. A class from college or an old client. It didn't matter he thought as he scanned the room. He somehow felt obligated to come . . .
Upon arriving at the hotel he promised himself he would never let slip how much he had spent on this weekend getaway. As he handed the bellman what he assumed was the equivalent of a fiver for carrying his small bag he inquired where the bar was. He had heard great things and after a quick change from his traveling clothes, he would . . .
It was a few minutes before five and there was an open seat at the bar. He hated sitting at a table so the tall vacant chair was a welcome sight. The seat had held his weight many times before.
A round leather circle slid across the marble toward him. The affable bartender pinned the coaster to the surface with a glass of . . .