Sunny, the drunkheart


sunnyI was still up at 2 am, writing, when the rock crashed through my window. Glass shattered through my study and cold air quickly filled the room. I turned my lamp off to look outside and saw Sunny standing in the street in a fake fur coat and sunglasses, wearing a devilish grin.

“You couldn’t ring the doorbell?” I asked. My apartment was street level, so I didn’t even have to yell.

“Now that you mention it, that would have made sense, too. This felt like a better way to crash your pity party. Now are you going to let me in or not?”

I thought about saying no, feeling slightly angry about the broken window, and dead tired from a week’s worth of writer’s-blocked late nights, but I couldn’t resist.

The next morning, Sunny wandered into the kitchen naked at about 11 am, as I was sitting there reading the paper. “Whoa,” she said, “I thought that bedroom looked familiar. How the fuck did I get here?”

“You crashed through the window. Take a look at my office.”

She poured herself a cup of coffee then moseyed around the corner to survey the damaged room.

“No shit,” she said.

After helping herself to a shower, she found her clothes and went on her way, saying it was nice to see me and that we should get dinner some time. “Sure thing,” I said, even though I knew we wouldn’t.

We’d met at quiz night at the local Scottish pub. I’d been impressed by her command of early hip-hop trivia and she’d been equally impressed by my knowledge of pre-1900 American Literature. Every month or so after our first bombed coupling, Sunny would drunkenly call me, or show up at my doorstep. And I didn’t mind it, because Sunny was great. She never even seemed that drunk. She just seemed happy.

I never called her, though, even though deep down, I think I really liked her. Finishing my first (unpublished) novel was my priority at the time and I didn’t want to allow myself the chance to get wrapped up in a fiery, fun alcoholic. Just wasn’t what I needed.

I only realized how much I enjoyed Sunny when she stopped coming around. After maybe three months of radio silence, we bumped into each other at a mutual friend’s cocktail party.

Sunny seemed different, and I realized she was dead sober, a can of diet coke in her hand.

“Hey Knox Dupree,” she said, “How are you?”

Her manner was polite and distant. There was so much I wanted to talk to her about, but I knew she wouldn’t be interested.

“Oh, you know. Busy, busy. I think I’m rounding the corner with my book.”

“Hey, that’s great. Congratulations. It’s soooooo good to see you.”

We made small talk for a few minutes, then she wandered off to the bathroom and I snuck out with my date for the evening, a thoroughly boring gallerina.

I’ll never knew whether Sunny found Jesus, or got back with her ex, or just found herself someone else to call late nights when she was hammered – and part of me doesn’t want to know what happened. I just wish it hadn’t.

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