Wine-box camaraderie on BART

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Photo by superciliousness

It was Friday, so of course I was headed downtown with an unlabeled box containing six bottles of wine. I was going to meet my wife and a good friend at, yes, a wine bar. The bottles belonged to the friend — her last shipment from a wine club she belongs to. Long story, not important.

It was a rather self-conscious walk down Valencia to the 16th St. BART station, mostly because of the weight and awkwardness of the wine box. But I’m no complainer — I just walked with an ounce of extra-awareness the whole way.

When I got to the platform at 16th St., the next train was still about 2 or 3 minutes away, so I decided to give my arms and shoulders a short break. I set the box down. And when I did, the faintest “clink” emerged. It was the loudest, shortest sound ever emitted anywhere in the universe.

A woman standing a few feet away looked over, and without my looking back at her, said, “I heard that!” At that point, it could’ve gone any number of ways. But here’s how it went instead:

I replied, “Oh, haha. But how do you know what it is?” (Remember: The box wasn’t labeled.)

“I just came from a wine and cheese at work,” she said. “I know that sound when I hear it.” She laughed.

“Okay, okay, you got me,” I said. She made a joke about giving her a bottle, but I decided to change the subject.

“A coworker told me recently about a method of opening wine bottles without using a corkscrew. It’s involves 1) being French, 2) being drunk, 3) taking the foil off, placing the bottom of the bottle in an empty shoe, and beating it repeatedly against the wall. The cork inches its way out of the bottle until eventually, voila! You’ve got a bottle of de-corked wine” (here a video demonstration … but alas, I digress.)

The train came. We kept talking, but sat in different rows.

When my stop (Powell) came, I got up to walk toward the door. She smiled at me. I told her that, next time I see her and I’m carrying wine, I’ll give her a bottle. And I’m totally serious.

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