“I’m telling you, Frankie; she really likes you. You should ask Liz out. She’d love it.” Chris said, fixing a gaze at me that I interpreted as, you’d better say yes or stop complaining to me about being alone.
I didn’t answer.
All I could think was, Why’s my old girlfriend asking me this? Is this a joke I’m not getting?
And then she flashed it.
Chris, my first girlfriend from over forty years ago, put on her; I’m fucking serious, Frankie, face.
I sat there, still saying nothing and still utterly confused.
Our mutual friend, Liz, had gone to the washroom.
I was sitting alone with Chris in my tiny but cozy living room, struggling to open the third bottle of red wine for the two of us.
Chris and I had ploughed through the first two bottles like we were in imminent danger of being sent to a liquor-free dimension.
The two of us always drank too much and too fast when we got together. It’s what we do; it’s our boozy hobby if you will.
My old girlfriend always brings over the best red wines. She finds these ballsy, full-bodied, dirt of the old world-tasting vintages that even a Vampyre would fall in love with.
And it shouldn’t matter, but it does to me. The bloody labels, the God-damn labels, always look like they’ve been smuggled out of the Rothchild’s private wine cellar. I peel them off and keep them, hoping that I’ll find the same bottles, but I never do.
Liz and Chris knew I was having a hard time living alone, even before the Pandemic set in. I’d been through two divorces, and being single was painfully foreign to me.
I’d been active on several dating apps and had gone out on a few walking through the park dates, but nothing had come of them.
The women I’d met were sweet enough, but for some reason, nothing had clicked. The spark I was looking for remained woefully unlit.
It appeared that looking for love at the age of 60 was a lot more complicated than I ever thought it would be.