It's better than drinking alone.
He dreamed of a place where he didn't feel awkward. Where he didn't feel left out. Where he felt like he belonged.
A place where two lovers could sit side-by-side and just hold hands. Or not even touch at all. And by "lovers" we mean a gangly young man and a young woman with head gear, both far too nervous and socially inept to make the first move.
He'd smile. She'd make an attempt to reciprocate, but instead end up with a line of drool from the corner of her mouth to her chin. He'd try to hide his repulsed expression. She'd notice it but pretend she hadn't.
Still, the nose of big, brambly cherries and earth would float out of the wine bottle and wrap them both in baking spices and clove. He'd pour her a glass, a last-ditched effort. She'd drink it down, too fast to appreciate the combo of mountain tannins and caramel, and vow never to let her mother set her up again.
Mistaking her sigh of boredom for a moment of contentment, he'd lean in for a kiss. Too busy adjusting her rubberbands to see it coming, she'd recoil, shriek and accidentally smack her head against the passenger window.
They'd sit in pained silence for the next five minutes, and then he'd drive her home.
MEEKER KISS RIDGE. The high point of your miserable, lonely life.