That day eludes me, the specifics of it. I find myself sleepy after a single glass of whiskey now, so I struggle to recall what strange elixirs and potions we whipped up and slung down for hour upon endless hour. A warm sort of hazy summer day. I remember wild tea vodka and orange juice, champagne and beers, sobering up slightly in the afternoon but not for long.
It literally seems impossible now, and I think it must have been a very very specific sort of order, some magical combination at a macrobiotic level that lead us like a guiding light. A gentle hand outstretched that never became a pounding hateful fist. I woke up ready to do it again. I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.
Cumberland is beautiful, in the mountains of western Maryland where it can be very cold even in May and early June. Of course “very cold” is subjective and some might not agree. Midwesterners, specifically.
I was living in Baltimore when I needed to visit a Cumberland newspaper editor. I called early that morning to check on conditions and the editor said, “The weather is great, come on up.” It started sleeting, then snowing as my car began the ascent. I was barely out of Alabama at that point and thought I surely would not survive.
We celebrated my survival with lunch at “the town’s best restaurant,” the bowling alley. It was quite good!