I arrive at my destination a little late, the result of a touch too much excitement at the card shop. It’s alright; I know some people at a table on the right and there’s a game in progress so I can stroll on up for my beer, if you will. I decide (after a horrific sampling of Gilgamesh’s Cranberry Saison, truly an affront to liquid everywhere) upon Leavenworth’s Whistling Pig Hefe.
And that’s when I see Sparky. Back when I was doing the 52 Weeks theme, I saw him all the time; big dude with a beard to make ZZ Top envious and John Lennon sunglasses, he seemed like one of those men who was probably pretty low key in most areas of his life, but at a social place like a bar flourished. He likes beer, conversation, is pretty damn smart and affable: what’s not to dig on? A rarity at Bailey’s; he doesn’t seem to care so much about which beer he’s drinking, so long as it’s good and the staff have figured out his tastes (IPAs, for the most part.)
So I over to say hi and catch up. He tells me about his job, which is going well, so well that he was able to visit a dentist to get a bunch of work done, and a doctor for the first time in seven years. The nurse checks his blood pressure. Then a doctor (and my eyebrows go up.) Then another doctor (‘oh, shit’.) THEN an E.K.G. machine.
‘Holy christ, dude!’
“Yeah,” he chuckles, “turns out my BP was 180/10 and I didn’t know what that meant at the time but it turns out they thought I was having a heart attack on the spot.”
‘But you’re…’ I gesture to him
“Oh yeah,” he says, waving it off, “I wouldn’t be telling you about it if everything wasn’t kosher. I’m just one of those dudes who’s prone to hypertension. Some meds, and I’m alright.”
So I tell him what’s going on with me (moving, etc), he reassures me that in “six months, when all the piddly shit is done, you’ll love it,” which is good to know.
To your health, sir; may you keep it long.