I’ve been thinking for months about writing a companion piece to The Story of Steve. Occasionally, I write a paragraph, but almost immediately discard it. Nothing seems to work. Today, instead of discarding what I’ve written, I’m putting it here. Maybe that will spur the creative juices or, at the very least, prod me to edit the swill.
Ninety-seven years. That’s how long it took for the life to finally drain from Steve’s veins. One might not have expected man with Steve’s habits and vices to live so long, but he always exceeded expectations.
He started drinking Partida Elegante Extra Añejo Tequila about a year before he died, but that is not what brought his long life to an end. Before starting his habit of buying two or more 750 millilitre bottles of the finest Partida each week at $300 a bottle, he had faithfully purchased a quart or more of a lesser but similarly fine brand of extra añejo tequila since March 2006, the moment the premium designation became available. And before that, he drank Tequila Sauza añejo for many years.
Years before becoming a high-consumption connoisseur of fine tequila, Steve bought a large and lavish river boat. He named the boat in the memory of one of his numerous eccentric girlfriends, Felicity, who had died tragically in July 1988 while attempting to swim across the Strait of Hormuz. It wasn’t the swim that killed her, it was the debris from the civilian aircraft, Iran Air Flight 655, which the U.S. shot down. After Felicity’s death, which occurred when Steve was 71 years old, he bought the boat in homage to Felicity’s adoration of the water.
Water wasn’t the only thing Felicity adored. She adored being an eccentric sixty-something whose stamina astonished almost everyone she met, especially her far younger paramours, who were shocked and surprised when she exhausted their youthful stamina. Though those exploits preceded Steve’s involvement with her, he was enamored with the idea that an older woman could put young studs to shame. But that’s another story in itself.
Felicity would never know it, but her unique talent for communicating with dogs was the trigger for Steve’s successful efforts to communicate with ants, which led to his remarkable fortune. He thought Felicity’s ability to understand dogs’ howls, their facial expressions, and their body posture was amazing. Even more amazing was her ability to express herself to dogs through her own howls, expression, and posture. Though some claimed Felicity’s interactions with dogs were based entirely on training the animals to react to her as she desired, Steve knew it wasn’t so; she could think like a dog.