The night grows long as stories flow across the beer-soaked bar. “...so the bartender says, ‘I was talking to the duck!!’ Hahahaha!!!!” My insane laughter is fueled by one part liquor, two parts old-fashioned nostalgia, and four parts genuine happiness. Despite all my foolish joy, Shepherd abruptly takes on a much gloomier appearance. His sudden mood shift has me rushing to figure out how he could have been offended by the lame duck joke.
In an attempt to defend myself, I start to say, “See, it was mainly about the duck…” though his grim look shows just how disinterested he is in hearing what I have to say. He marches away without another word and leaves me totally staggered.
“Come on now, it was just a stupid joke!” I try following the mysteriou...
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