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  • The idea, I hesitate to admit, was to get pretty well blitzed out of our minds.

    We'd never been to a Trader Joe's before, so two-buck Chuck came as a revelation to us. I was from Pennsylvania and she was from Utah, so when we knew we wanted to drink, we asked around for the ABC store. It doesn't work that way here, they told us.

    I grabbed a bottle of White Zinfandel. "Is this good?" I asked no one in particular. She replied by throwing a Merlot in the basket. When we realized that we could buy Chuck's complete harem for less than the price of a single French table wine, I ran back to the checkouts for a bigger basket.

    It took a while to find a place in the park where we wouldn't be bothered. When her arms got tired, I took her bag. She kept asking me if I wanted to stop for a break, but I lied and said I wasn't tired.

    "This'll work," she said at last.

    "But it's right next to a cemetery," I protested, on her behalf.

    "I don't mind," she lied, on mine.

    We barely touched the second bottle, but we made it through her childhood, my jobs in restaurants, her love of working-class poetry, my obsession with bicycling, the garden she grew, the time I got arrested, the zipper on her jacket, the clasp on her bra, and the elastic around my waist.

    The next day, we left, and we left the bottles behind -- all of them, opened or not. She and I already had our money's worth.
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