Last night the heavens opened up and rain poured down in torrents. It was a welcome respite from the oppressive heat.
We were invited to dinner at the house of a couple we met during one of our sailing adventures. They have a sailboat and enjoy going out for several nights at a time as we do.
We had a great dinner with them and their 11 year old son. All was going well with good conversation about a variety of things. We talked about the recent work done on the boat, about their son's math and science prizes, and about how to cook fish on the grill. Nothing heavy, just amiable talk.
Right before we ate, the husband F. received several phone calls. He left the kitchen each time the phone rang in order to have a private conversation. I noticed that his wife was becoming a bit agitated after each call. One time she looked at me and rolled her eyes.
After dinner and before we could help with the dishes, F. said that he had to "go help his brother with his van". It was now 9 PM. He almost ran out the door into pouring rain, thunder and lightening. His wife S. looked dismayed. We felt really awkward. She said that she hoped we would stay until F. came home.
So we sat there with her, helped her boy with his jigsaw puzzle, and eventually watched a movie. About two and a half hours later, just as the movie had ended, the husband came home. He was affable still but now was red faced and smelling strongly of booze.
Now it was getting close to midnight. I could tell that the conversation was getting forced with the wife. She seemed ill at ease. After he made a few crude comments, we said that we had best be getting on the road. So we took our leave and drove home with the rain pouring down.
We didn't say much on the way home. Both of us felt the joy had been sucked out of the evening. The agitation, the embarrassing looks, and the disappointment were all too familiar to us. The lightening had stopped, but I think we both knew it had already struck that family. I absolutely hate the disease of alcoholism.