The story I'm going to share with y'all today is true, but for years now I've held onto to it thinking that I'd eventually use it as the beginning of a novel or short story. But I have an entire notebook full of things I plan to write and it really doesn't work for any of them so I might as well share it with y'all. Like I said this is a true story about one of my former coworkers -- I'll call him Moe.
Moe was an older guy. About ready to retire when I got to know him. He was a sharp technician, able to fix any and all of the postal equipment. Gruff, honest to a fault, and rather anti-social, Moe possessed a dry perverted sense of humor that came out when you engaged him on one on one conversation. He considered three people a crowd so if another person walked up, Moe simply walked away. Mid story, mid sentence. It didn't matter. He took part in NO group activities.
Moe was also a Vietnam Vet and an AVID whiskey drinker.
His wife died not long after I joined the maintenance ranks and given that I barely knew him at the time I did not attend the funeral or the week long wake at his house. But I've since heard the stories and have deduced that the wake was basically a week long booze fest at Moe house which resulted in a near complete dismantling of the pipes beneath Moe's bathroom sink after another inebriated coworker claimed his glass eye had fallen into the drain.
The eye was alter found in the trashcan beside the sink, but the only sober guy at the gathering still talks about his emergency plumbing job while a hoard of whiskey hounds breathed over his shoulder.
But back to Moe.
Six months or maybe a year after his wife's passing, Moe gets an email from a lady asking if he was the same Moe Schmoe who was stationed in Mobile, Alabama in 1967 or 68 or some such year. I've forgotten the details but you get the general idea.
Now Moe recognizes this woman's name. He was stationed there and she was his girlfriend there right up until the day Uncle Sam shipped him to Vietnam.
While serving his country, Moe and the chopper he was in crash landed. Moe was severely injured and after some months recuperating was sent back to the US and eventually Amarillo. Along the way he lost contact with Alabama Annie. He got married had a son and a number of years later once again began working for Uncle Sam. This time as an electronic technician here at the old Post Office.
This his wife died. And during his long grieving period Moe consumed many many bottles of whiskey. Then Alabama Annie's email arrived.
Moe email back. The began corresponding. Then conversing via the phone and then one day Moe Tells us Alabama Annie is flying in for a visit. He takes a few days off and upon his return this is the story Moe tells ...
There I was standing in the airport concourse. Her plane has just landed and I'm scanning the faces of those debarking. I spot one lady about the right age but she short, fat, and not at all pleasant to look at so I refuse to think she is Annie so I keep looking at the other faces. None seem right so I return the the only woman and pray to myself ... Please don't be her ... Please don't be her ... Please don't be her.
I'm still reciting this though in my head when she walks straight up to me and says, "The years haven't been to damned kind to you either."
Now knowing Moe, I wonder if his please don't be her prayer was actually a mere though in his head or words he spoke aloud or at least mouthed. Either way their reunion was a bit awkward to say the least. When Alabama Annie got on the plane and headed home Moe told us he'd never been more relived in his life.
Yep, this was the story he told us the next day. But three or four months later Moe announced that Alabama Annie was moving here to Amarillo and they were getting married. That's been six or seven years ago and while Moe has retired from the USPS he and Alabama Annie are still living happily ever after in marital bliss.
Love at first sight. It's a romantic notion that lots of people believe in. But this story shows love 40 years after first sight ain't easy but it is possible ... at least with enough whiskey.