Iron into Gold

“Quick, ask me where my truck is.”

“Okay, Ty, where’s your truck?”

“You’re drinkin’ it!”

The magically appearing bottle of Goldschlager on our house bar suddenly makes sense.  I wrinkle my head in puzzlement, though.  It seems like a lot of money for a bottle of Goldschlager.  I mean, the truck was a rusted out hulk, but it ran.  He must have gotten two or three hundred for it.

Ty slides open the aluminum top of the lovely red Coke cooler, the kind you have to lean over the edge into until you are afraid you might tip in headfirst and be swallowed with your legs kicking, and shows me the cases of beer.  No Old Style this time; we are stocked with Killian’s.  Cases of Killian’s.  Apparently he is planning a hell of a party.

“I called the guys and told ’em ‘Party at the White House’.  It’s my last night. They should be showing up soon.”

“All of ’em? Cool,” I said.  A party at our place always made for good entertainment.

“So, I thought you were taking the truck to Minne-no-place with you,” I continue.

“I was, but then Scott and I got to talkin’ and it seemed silly to go out there with two cars when we could just split the gas and I could buy a new one there.  Besides, who knows if that old truck would make it. It isn’t exactly built for driving around the city.”

This makes sense.  Not that it matters much if it makes sense to me; I am about to bow out of Ty’s life story.  He and I are close–but not “you have a say in my decisions” close.  Our bond is forged in this one final golden year of college.  I answered an ad in the paper for a roommate, and ended up the only girl living in a house of fraternity boys.  I liked listening to them play their guitars and the way they brought me out of my good-girl shell, they liked that I made such an excellent wing-man.  Our evenings involved kegs and dice and cards and songs and an endless stream of pretty girls.

I look Ty over in his cowboy hat and Lucky jeans.  He has his boots on, and the white shirt that makes his eyes sparkle blue like Lake Michigan in summer.  He’s at the top of his game tonight.  I think of when Dana died, and how I cried on him all night long, sitting on the couch as he rocked me back and forth.  He let me in for real that night, and again when he told me about his time in rehab, and about when his mom was sick.  The pretty girls didn’t get those conversations.

“Don’t get all sappy on me, Raisin,” he says, softening.  “It’s just Minneapolis, not Guam.  We’ll visit.”

I want to believe that.  More, tonight I want to be one of the pretty girls.

“Come on,” he says as he puts his arm around my shoulders.  “We have a party to throw.  Later I’ll play you Dear Prudence.”

And he does.  And I cry.


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