On New Years Eve, I saw a dear friend of mine that I hadn’t seen in 15+ years.
It happened in a most innocuous way.
After I got done playing the first set (I’m a musician, if you didn’t know),
the band took a break and I went to talk to the soundman to tell him I needed more of my keyboards in my monitor.

I turned to look for Pamela when a woman walked up to me and asked,
“Do you guys know ‘Walking in Memphis’?”

I told her we hadn’t done the song in well over a year and didn’t think we could pull it off.

She looked at me in a strange way and said,
“Michael? It’s Sue.”

My jaw dropped to the floor and I threw my arms around her in a 20 second ‘God, I’ve missed you’ hug.

Sue was a bartender at a club I played on a regular basis way back when.
It was a time when bands played real music and DJ’s royally sucked, like they still do.

Yeah, I’m still slightly bitter.

She was always insulted when we tried to actually pay for a drink, outraged if you tried to tip her. Sue will forever be my favorite bartender, not because of the gratis booze but because of the woman behind the apron.
Back then, Sue felt it was her job to see I always had a sufficient blood to Remy Martin ratio coursing through my veins.

That way, she knew I would play any song she asked for, no matter my condition was.
( I am stretching this a bit, bear with me)

On the nights she would be successful in the mixology department, she would affectionately call me ‘Puddles’, her pet name for a very sloshed Michael.
Oh, God the memories…

I found my wife and the three of us had a reunion of sorts.
Sue asked about Sarah and she freaked out when we told her she was 20 years old and a sophomore (2nd semester) in college (studying to be an M.D., nonetheless)
She didn’t know about my other two (or did she?)

Way back when, I mainly worked with the band and was a doting Mr. Mom during the day, a task I still dearly miss.
Me and the baby, baby and me, it was what I did—and I loved it.

The band I was in at the time was what you would call an ‘electronic’ band, meaning sequencers and drum machines.

Someone had to tell these computers what to do, so I would bundle up Sarah and take her to the club before it opened so I could program a few new tunes in peace.
One day Sue was there readying the place for business.
She felt bad that Sarah was being ignored and asked if she could hold her.

I said yes, and she picked Sas up and proceeded to go about her daily routine with a baby happily on her arm.
I would look up now and then and see Sue carting Sarah around and think how natural she looked holding a baby… even if she was walking around a hotel bar.
Might get weird when someday Sarah strangely calls to mind a drink recipe for a Purple Hooter, a drink she’s never had…. (*insert Twilight Zone music here)

Sarah was so lucky to be held by someone like Sue, someone I trusted implicitly, loved like a sister and never wanted to lose contact with.

Sadly, I did.
Life happens and we have to deal with it.
Shit does happen.

I like to think that she forgives me because her hug said it all.

Love ya, Sue.

Dinner, very soon, yes?




9 thoughts on “Puddles

  1. Queenie Weenie what a great surprise God those were great days! I still remember the chocolate gag gift we got her as a birthday surprise LMHO…

    They were great days. I miss em too…
    Can’t remember the chocolate gag gift. Email me.


  2. Sounds like you have some great memories Michael! What a wonderful gift to have her drop back into your life for a visit.


    It is funny how we bump into people, huh?
    And yes, wonderful…


  3. Glad you reconnected with an old friend. No matter the circumstances, that’s always the best surprise – running into an old friend unexpectedly. Puddles, eh? I’m liking the sound of that. I once had the nickname Killer – but that had nothing to do with drink or music. 😉

    Killer, huh?
    Oh, the possibilities. 😆


  4. nothing like seeing an old friend after a lengthy period of time..it always seems to brighten us up doesn’t it? i love having this type of thing happen…you get to sit and reminisce over “the good old days” which is just the best…
    glad you had a good night and it made you smile and laugh…nothing like laughing to make you feel better..
    puddles? i like that…seems appropriate somehow 😉

    People do seem to like that name “Puddles”.
    Sue will be pleased.
    Thanks, Mum…


  5. Another thing, I don’t get the picture you posted with this. Is it relevant?

    The pic is very relevant but more of an inside joke with Susan.
    I thought the guy looked fairly funky though.
    Definitely not me in the morning…


  6. Life is full of memories of people we wish we’d never lost touch with, some of them it’s probably just as well, but in the case of Sue and ‘puddles’ I think it’s more tragic than anything. Isn’t it funny how we don’t realise until it’s sometimes too late just how precious a great friendship really is? I mean when we are younger we think they come along like the days of the week, but as you live and grow you realise that they are actually hard to find. I hope you got her number!

    Friends like Sue are hard to find. It’s interesting that it seemed as though we picked right up where we last left off.
    That’s how it is sometimes with old friends, I guess.
    And I did get both her number and email address.
    More on Sue later…


  7. Puddles- tis the season for us to try to get together- call me! reading this made me realize that life moves much too fast for me now- is it really over a year since I saw you???? s


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