Failure Tastes Like Lemon Drops

Let us all have a pause for the magical moment that could have been. Neil and Katrina could be looking into each others eyes longingly. They could be laughing. Most of all, they could have already allowed their feelings for each other to boil over in the back of Neil Sr.’s Monte Carlo. That won’t be happening, not now.

Neil is currently sitting at a booth at the Shelby Diner. Katrina is currently in the bathroom washing out her mouth with whatever is at hand. What is at hand is pink liquid soap, which she deeply regrets but it does taste better. It could have been a much better evening, except for the idiocy. Considering Neil, 16 that is a big exception.

Neil was nervous about his first date and to a lesser degree, his first chance to score. He didn’t want to want it but it took Buddha thirty years to kill desire and he was a professional. Neil couldn’t be a 46 year old virgin; Judd Apatow would be much too long dead to make a sequel. So he began to search for alternatives and the liquor cabinet was open, as it always was.

Some say that alcohol is great for relaxation and for some this may be true. Neil is not to be trusted with such advice. Limoncello tastes too damn much like candy for the boy to stop at the tear drop’s worth his system can handle. The world started shifting as he put down his brother’s sippy cup and realized that four ounces was probably more than enough.

He really held it pretty well. The bicyclists barely cursed him for intruding on their lane. Katrina was beautiful, as her eyes sparkled with worry and fear. She was mainly worried about the fact that he was constantly staring at her while driving. He was drifting, but he wasn’t worried. After all, thats why cars have horns. It didn’t occur to him that neither children nor dogs have such devices.

As they entered the diner, Neil ran straight for the bathroom and proceeded to feel the french fries he ate for breakfast return sweetly, sickly and involuntarily. Neil’s amazing optimism allowed him to go on under the assumption that the date was going well and it did for a while. Sadly, a while isn’t forever, it’s more like forty-five minutes.

She reached for his chips, he misread and reached for the hem of her garment. It was wonderful and spontaneous. Then it all turned wretched, there was just a little bit of sickness in her mouth but that failed to dissuade her panic. He screamed apologies, and stuttered as she ran towards the bathroom.

The outcome of this night will be long lasting, much like Robert Frost’s two roads. Neil will never drink Limoncello again. He will also learn not to sweat over what might just be happiness. Katrina will learn that the 2003 Monte Carlo handles pretty well and has enough trunk space for a tarp and a drunk. The road less taken is bumpy.