It was early for the usual post work crowd, but since it was St. Patrick’s Day, the Irish bar C and I were in was packed four deep. We each had a Guinness in hand, continually shifting and rearranging positions to avoid those who’d been celebrating far longer than us.
The guy next to us grabbed his friend’s thigh high up and obvious enough, we took the bait with raised eyebrows. They started laughing and the salt and pepper haired friend mentioned something about restless leg syndrome. I nodded.
“I have that too,” I said.
“No one ever believes me,” he said with an appropriately thick Irish accent. “I couldn’t sleep last weekend. I had to get up and get on the treadmill.”
The live music blurred the edges of conversation or maybe it was the Guinness but I perked up again when he said he’d just been in Panama.
“I was there last month,” I said.
“I was there last weekend,” he said.
“Wow. That is recent! What took you there?” I said.
“Buying property,” he said.
The similarities between him and me were not great enough to combat the gulf between our locations or the thickening crush of people or the wail of the music, and with the arrival of my other friends, he and his friend vanished like two leprechauns protecting their pot of gold.