'Let's play a game called Goldshlager,' she says by way of hello, and opens the bottle. 'I just made it up.'
She scrounges around the shelves for shot glasses and comes up with an egg cup and a little porceline creamer. 'These will do. Here are the rules. For every bad thing that happened this year, take a shot of goldschlager. For every good thing that happened, take a sip of water.'
****We met as flat-chested seventh grade girls who loved theater. We declared ourselves soul mates. Then came many years where we were not allowed to see each other. Someone very dark and terrifying kept us apart. It was a shame. I'm happy that person is dead.
We pour out the shots. Jobs quit, love lost and mysteries of the universe left unsolved add up; two hours and one full bottle of booze later, we're rolling around on the kitchen floor in loud, uncontrollable fits of laughter. We wake up the house. Then we're outside tumbling around in the storm with snow up our shirts. Then we fall into bed and sleep in a tangle. We're as drunk as they come.
But when morning comes we're bright and cheerful and we bounce out of bed. A whole house full of people study the empty bottles and the mess we made and scratch their heads. "How are you not dead?" They ask. We drink a cup of coffee and go walking in the woods to consider that question ourselves.
We're not dead because we drank an ounce of water for every triumph of 2012. Every dollar in the bank. Every greyhound through Montana. Every article published. Every date that ended with a man on the street corner shouting "YOU'RE BEAUTIFUL!" as you walk away.
We must have drank our body weight in water. That's the way to do it, we decide. Take the gold with the booze and the booze with the water, as we always have.