I was specifically told to buy wine and even more specifically to “pick something people will actually like”. I buy wine based on the label. If it has nice artwork, it must taste good. I chanced into my friend Maurice in town. He was back from Jamaica. Another hurricane had taken the roof off his mother’s house. As much as he loved his mother it was the third time in five years, and that’s twice too many. We joked the next roof should be perforated with soccer ball size holes so the wind couldn’t lift it off! His Mother would have to tarp the house, but only when it rains.
So, I forgot to buy wine. The little market near home has wine, and just because they sell gas doesn’t make it gas-station wine. The two back isles were full of bottles, but I didn’t know what to get. Classy looking dark bottles with kangaroos on them filled four whole shelves. Flamingo pink, shamrock green, Barney purple, and more. As I turned looking in desperation for guidance or inspiration, I saw her. Her in her New York City Taxi Cab yellow sun dress that was a little short, but matched the wide yellow ribbon holding back her dark pretty hair and the yellow kangaroo bottle I was considering. Case closed, I took two yellow ones and wiped off the dust with my shirt. With my shirt pulled up, and my glasses sliding now I was smiling at her when she took two big bottles of something clear and slid them into the ugly oversize Monet sunflowers shoulder bag she carried. She turned then, caught my eye, and graced me with a big smile and a wink! I smiled, she smiled again and shrugged.
Was she short of money? I was going to charge mine anyway and could pay for hers. Was she underage? Was I smiling the way I was smiling at someone that young? Buying liquor for cute underage women could only lead to disaster and a complete misunderstanding of my generous intent. I put the yellow kangaroos back and took two red ones. Fire Engine red to match my face.