La Hora del Happy.

 

Every Friday we jam the same tune, a little number we call La Hora del Happy. Some weeks I add more salsa spice. Other times my husband B leads a more shamrock groove. We always play like happy hour has no end.

B’s briefcase drops a bass beat on the carpet outside our condo door. His keys chime and promise fantasy. I click-click to save my work, and click-click to shut off my lap top.

“Yo,” he greets.

“Yo,” I respond, then together we pucker, smack, smooch. Mmm.

The tempo builds. B’s taps are staccato to the squeak of my Crocs across the hard wood floor to the kitchen tile. Faster. The refrigerator door suction pops. I clink two Stellas in my left hand, open the freezer door with my right. The motor whirs. I rattle the ice in the maker, place the Stellas. The doors suck close, one after one. I set the microwave timer, beep-beep-beep-beep, to ten minutes.

I sit at the counter. I wait for B. I wait for my Stellas. B enters. I swing my legs and bang my heels. The stool creaks faster. B tap-tap-tap-taps the Formica counter with the shaker and bottles. Glass clicks metal as he pours. First, Ketel One. Then vermouth. The olive jar gasps open, and a splash of the juice makes the mix dirty. B fingers for ice in the tray. Four gentle plops into the shaker. B caps it, holds it closed with two hands, looks at me and winks. The kitchen fills with shake-shake-shakes. I get woozy and moist with anticipation. One last thrust pa’rriba and the ice catches in the bottom B palms.

I stumble, race, for the fogged Stellas and martini glass. I click-pop-hiss my bottle open. B uncaps the shaker. The mix slides through the ice and strainer into his glass. My Stella is already raised for the final clink and closing vocals.

Slainte baby,” B says.

Salud mi amor,” I respond.

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