Heading over to our former home to see our Uncle/Stepfather Kenny was a bit surreal. We had not seen him for many years and the strangeness of the reacquainting was, at best, awkward.
I always said Uncle Kenny was the man of a thousand disguises because every time I saw him, he looked like a different person. Over the years, we had learned many “interesting” lessons from him. For example, when picking an alias, choose one with the same initials as your real name. It’s easier to remember that way.
Uncle/Stepdad Kenny greeted us with unusual frivolity, though he seemed to be somewhat embarrassed by the overall situation. He asked to go for a ride with me so we could visit before they embarked on their journey west. I reluctantly agreed.
As soon as he got in my car, he asked me to take him to Lone Oak Tap and Saloon. Now, Mother had assured us that he no longer drank and was on the straight and narrow. But as was so often the case in our family, denial had won out over reality. I was in no mood to argue with my Uncle/Stepdad, so away we went.
I drove to the drive-thru window. What a novel and inspired idea! A drive-through window at a liquor store! Kenny bought a fifth of whiskey which he promptly opened and began consuming. He asked me to drive around while we talked. Code for please let me finish this bottle before returning to Mother.
I don’t blame him for wanting some liquid sustenance to consume before dealing with my mother (and now his wife). It was probably not a bad idea. I will say he was in a very mellow mood upon our return.