What Are the Odds?
Thirty-one years ago on Halloween, drinking in a local bar here in this small town east of the Cascades, I got into a conversation with the new barmaid and asked her when she got off.
“Eight,” she said, and I said, “Great, we can be in Seattle by ten. A hot party in Ballard.”
“I don’t even know your name,” she said.
“I’ll tell you when we hit Snoqualmie Summit,” I said.
“Just like that,” she said, a faint smile on her face.
“Just like that,” I said. “You can tell me your name then too.
Her name was Donna, and she danced like there was no tomorrow, which is how I danced back then. We danced all night and headed back over the pass at first light, Donna asleep beside me on the front seat, her head in my lap, Desperado on the tape deck, the snow falling.
Nothing more came of it. She had a steady boyfriend, and I was married.
Last night, to avoid the trick-or-treaters, I ate out, and when I sat down, there was Donna a booth away. She got up and came over to me.
“Our anniversary,” she said.
“Thirty-one years,” I said. “What are the odds?”
“It’s fate,” she said, and leaned down to kiss me.
She’s anorexic now, her hair gone gray, and I stopped drinking two weeks after we went to Seattle.