Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bizarre Commute

I had a very bizarre evening. It all started when I ran into a waitress I've known for years on the downtown "E" train. She was on her way to work, I was on my way to the Port Authority Bus Terminal to catch a bus home for the evening.

I was glad to have been in the right place at the right time. Earlier in the day my friend had gotten a call from Paris (she's French) that her sister had died overnight. My friend was clearly devastated and was merely going to work because she didn't know what else to do. I'm a big proponent of "when in doubt, keep busy", so I was glad my friend was doing just that.

I make no secret of my belief that things "happen" for a reason. I think that I was meant to be there for her. I think she needed a friendly face, and I was more than happy to be that face. We were never bosom buddies, but I've always had a soft spot in my heart for her. She is so genuinely sweet, it would melt the coldest of hearts.

She got off at 50th Street and I stayed on until the train pulled in to 42nd Street. I got upstairs to my departure gate and, no sooner had I gotten in line when I saw my brother trundling up the ramp towards me.

He's my baby brother, but in many ways he's more of a man than I'll ever be (I'm sure he'd say the same about me). I told him to stick with me in our line so we could yak all the way home and that I'd give him a ride to his house from the Park and Ride where I abandon my Element every morning. It was nice to get some quality time with him. We yammered all the way down the turnpike, and during the drive home we promised each other that we'd fix each other's financial problems, should either of us win this week's "Mega-Millions" drawing.

My big plans for the evening included watching TWO episodes of Season Two of "Lost" (actually episodes 5 and 6 of the season). I watched one episode which was largely a flashback of Sun falling in love with the Korean hotel owner's son... only to find out that he was using her as a "cover" for his romance with some American woman he'd met in collge. I was on the verge of watching the next episode when the phone rang. It was my friend Dennis from Baltimore.

Dennis and I go back to the 12th century. Okay, 1971. He and his sigO, Patrick, my college roommate, the Kleen Kween, and I form the nucleus of a summer rental at the beach every year. For decades it was in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, last year and this coming July it'll be on Cape Cod, near Dennisport.

Dennis and I are great company for each other. When we both still smoked (but nobody was supposed to know that), we'd get up at the crack of dawn at the beach every day, put on a fresh pot of coffee and sit on the screened-in porch, overlooking the Atlantic, as the sun came up over the ocean; drinking coffee, smoking ciggies and yakking up a blue-streak about everything and everybody.

Patrick and Richard are real layabouts, never rising before the crack of 9:00 a.m. whereas Dennis and I would've made great bootcamp drill instructors, arising when it was still the dead of night.

The problem is, Dennis and I never know when to shut up. Last night was no exception. An hour after I answered the phone I told him I had to go to bed. And so I did.

Three distinctly different people "happened" into my path last night, each of them diverting me from my complacency.

It's said, in my 12-Step Program, that "if you want to make God laugh, tell Her your plans!"

Sometimes, truer words were never spoken.

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