Alabama was drunk when I got there, his head giving evidence of the struggle against sleep. Paul and American Dave were drinking Harbin Draft beer and chatting about chicken. I had my eldest with me, she’d cried her way into boys night out. Ma, the head waitress/girl-next-door beauty stood at the ready, amused smile and bright eyes. Time skipped into fast forward and in a blur, I watched the night progress; Annie leaving with her grandma, Alabama’s miraculously slow descent into drunken slumber, Pauls Scottish accent becoming more and more pronounced before he and his buddy, the man from Alabama, stumbled off to who knows where, and Dave, the rock, drinking glass for glass with me and half the patrons of Ma’s restaurant. My watch tells me the sun will arrive soon yet my head begs another beer; Ma’s gone home and so must I, but first I manage to swipe half the dishes and a toothpick holder from the table. Dave’s got his 175cc “chopper” and I’ve got my mini-Mazda, time stopped skipping, exhausted from the night, and I awake amid twisted sheets in the bright sun streaming though cast open curtains.