Incident X

I was not present for Incident X, having left the party just after midnight, but I was the first to hear about it, told to me by our friend, R, the protagonist, shall we say, of Incident X.  My husband and I were staying at R. and his wife's house, and since I had gone to bed relatively early and since R. has been forever cursed with being an early riser no matter how late he stays up, I found R. awake when no one else was the morning after the party, watching television.  Naturally, I asked him how his night was.  And this is how I came to first hear of Incident X, the type of incident that makes a person laugh and cringe simultaneously, exactly what I did as I listened to R. tell the story.  When R's wife and my husband woke, I asked them how their night was, needing to hear their versions of Incident X, to which they were witnesses.  They were still a little bitter about Incident X, having forced them to walk further than a person wants to walk under such conditions at such an hour, so their first telling was not so vibrant, but after a couple of cups of coffee they came to life and added some details that R. had forgotten to tell, didn't remember, or had chosen not to tell.

We went out to breakfast and met up with some of the friends we were out with the night before but who didn't yet know about Incident X since the only ones involved were R, his wife, my husband, a cab driver, and a policeman.  These friends were not only intensely interested in Incident X, but found it incredibly funny, even funnier than I found it since they themselves, at one time or another, have been in similar predicaments.  Particularly funny to them was the loss of R.'s and my husband's debit cards which resulted in some of the more painful plot twists in the aftermath of Incident X.

R's wife's shoes, wore the night of Incident X

After breakfast we drove to the baseball game and met up with more friends who had been with us the night before, but who also did not yet know about Incident X.  By this time, I was familiar enough with the material to tell the story myself, starting with me urging my husband to come home with me at midnight.  As more friends gathered in the parking lot of the baseball stadium, more versions of the same story piled on top of one another.  There was nothing else that we needed or wanted to talk about that day.  At some point, my husband remembered that he had taken a video on his phone, and though it wasn't of Incident X itself, it captured R. in the back seat of the cab, shirtless, arguing with the turbaned cab driver, more interesting and funny than if my husband had captured Incident X itself.  Now we were able not just to tell the story, but to watch the faces of friends, joining us for the first time that day, including R's brother and sister-in-law, as they watched the video on my husband's phone of R. and the cab driver discussing a very sensitive issue.

Throughout the telling and retelling of Incident X, R remained in immensely good humor.  Some would argue he had no choice, but I think it's a testament to his dedication, sacrificing a bit of self-respect for the fine art of the development of a story.  And now we are looking forward to the day next spring when we will reunite with these friends for another round of parties, to celebrate the life of R's brother, a man we all knew and loved who died too young, who would have appreciated more than anyone, the making of a legend in his honor.

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