You wake up one Sunday. This is not new. You wake up next to a beautiful woman. This isn’t new, either. But it’s good. You’re lucky. This isn’t a one-night stand. Neither of you will be doing the walk of shame. So you kiss her. She’s still sleepy, but he she stirs long enough to kiss you back. Then you read while she sleeps.
John D. MacDonald is a more than adequate companion. So is Travis McGee. It’s a good morning. Especially after she wakes up. So you read the news to her. Except no one subscribes to a newspaper anymore and you read it off a damned smartphone. But you enjoy being with her too much to worry about the future of newsprint or.
Sooner or later you both get hungry. So she is off to the kitchen and you follow. You notice the bottle of bourbon. It’s Old Grand-Dad. Good stuff. Maybe not the good stuff. Not too expensive, but good stuff. Stuff you recommended, she reminds you. And you’re proud of her. She was drinking all sorts of fruity pink shit when you met her. Now she’s drinking Old-Fashioneds and whiskey neat.
She peeling potatoes while you admire her. Admiring her taste in booze, and just plain admiring her. Even while she was grating potatoes. She notices and says you don’t have to watch her. Of course you want to. But you go and get your book so you can do it more surreptitiously. You sit down at the little table and set your book there.
She’s starting to fry the hash browns. You’ve read enough this morning, so you go take over at the skillet. She likes it when you fry things. You like to make sure everything gets suitably brown and crispy. You add some more oil to keep the potatoes sizzling. You add plenty of salt and pepper. You heap the hash browns on two plates and fry up two eggs, too. She likes hers sunny side up. You think that’s disgusting, so yours goes a little longer.
The eggs sit atop the hash browns. You’re ready for brunch. But maybe not. You decide an Old-Fashioned would be good. It’s already noon anyhow. Not too early to drink on a Sunday. Anyhow, you remind her, cocktails are so called because they were created to be had in the morning. Grab the cock by its tail. With whiskey, presumably. So you make two Old-Fashioneds.
Only as much water as sugar, you muse as you mix them up. It’s astonishing how bars get such a simple drink wrong. Water, sugar, bitters. That’s all you need. Then you pour in a slug of fine, sweet bourbon. Some ice.
The hashbrowns and egg are salty. The Old-Fashioneds are sweet, spicy and stiff. Your companion is charming and lovely. She calls it brunch. You’re not particular about the name, but you’re enjoying yourself. What more could a man want?
You glance at the little pulpy paperback. Its yellowed pages sit forlornly on the table. It’s gotten ignored as you prepared and then ate the brunch. But you don’t miss it too much. You’ll read it later. You don’t need it just now. It’s out of place in such a domestic scene. The eggs aren’t even hardboiled. But that’s OK. Not everything is. Not everything has to be.