You saw Armageddon in her eyes.
She was standing in the stairwell, dressed in green, smelling like she took a Jamison shower.
Her orange curly hair poured out and fell onto her ‘Kiss Me I’m Irish’ shirt, which was covered with enough beads to rival the gold at the end of the rainbow.
Her head nodded, and her mouth smiled — agreeing with a conversation she could only hear — that is until you walked in wearing your red shirt on St. Patrick’s Day.
You stuck out like a turd on a toilet seat.
You were the lone red grenade amongst a sea of green confetti, daring to explode. And although you didn’t know it, somehow, someway, you declared war without speaking a word.
The lady’s eyes widened, and she steadied her stance before issuing a statement that sounded awfully like a question.
“You’re not wearing green?!”
Her fingers tightened around the rail, not for stability, but because she was so fuckin angry, she had to squeeze something. Anything.
And then, she repeated herself with a bit more confidence.
“You’re not wearing green!” She nodded, knowing she was right and you were wrong.
Before matter-of-factly adding, “It’s St. Patrick’s day.” As if you thought the past 500 people you saw wearing Green just had one hell of a big coincidence.
You smile, wondering how a complete stranger could be so contentious over something as simple as a shirt. And then it dawns on you; she’s waiting on you to respond.
The first thought you have is a nice all-American. “No Shit?” It’s one of those ol’ reliable statements that makes the world come alive. But then you decide that’s a blade too sharp, for a moment too dull.
Your mind races and your foot taps.
You think about maybe pulling the colorblind card? A nice little, “What are you talking about?” before breaking out in a fake panic as you scream, “What color is this? What color is this?!” and frantically point to anything and everything.
You shake it off. — That angle will require too many dots to connect, and the only dot she’s connecting is the Shamrock tattoo on her arm to the one on her shot glass necklace.
So you sigh and offer up a nice, one-word truth.
The drunk lady shoots back, hardly believing what she heard.
“Yes, I am not wearing green.”
“But it’s St. Patrick’s day?!” she echoes as if those words had the power to stain fabric.
“Indeed it is.”
The lady’s face turns ghost, as apparently, your words took a nice fat shit all over her field of 4 leaf clovers and onto her pet leprechaun’s house.
Horrified, she takes the opportunity to let you in on a little secret that you didn’t ask for.
“I’m going to let you in on a little secret.” She smacked her lips. “I’ve been celebrating St. Patrick’s day for 38 years, and I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing anything other than green.” She slurred with an impressive amount of confidence.
You nod and glance at her ginger-colored stockings.
“I’ll try to remember that.”
“Try to remember it? Everyone will! I’m getting a four-leaf clover etched on my grave.” “And guess what color it’s gonna be?”
“GREEN!” she roared, a lioness in her savannah.
“You know, you struck me more of the cremated type.” You offer absently.
But then, she smiles.
“Yes, Baileys’ Irish Cream is the best! Do you want a shot?” She excitedly asks.
The line shifts forward — and she turns to the blob behind her that’s apparently her husband, who appears to be half dead, whole drunk, and wearing a shillelagh cap. He wakes up from a stone-cold-stupor.
“Shot? I’ll have one!”
She smiles a genuine, first-day-of-summer vacation smile before reaching down into her cleavage and pulling out a flask that had been waiting for this moment.
You immediately know one thing:
If this was 1912, she would have survived the Titanic. She was all brass and no buoy.
Her blob-husband grabbed the flask, an old friend on his favorite day, and ripped a shot before steadying himself on his wife.
They turned to each other and kiss in the crowded stairwell, ignoring all the world, dancing in piss-stained cement. And you admire love in its purest and drunkest form.
Then he looks from his wife and points at you.
“You see that asshole? He ain’t wearing green.”
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