A new favorite place of mine is the third seat from the end of the bar at the pub across the street from my apartment. It has a great view of the lone TV, the ability to quickly assess who walks in and it’s right in front of the fruit which I can sample when no one’s looking.
Usually I just pass the time with a bourbon and flipping my gaze between whatever is the game of choice and the latest news, posts, and pics on my phone. But there are times when sports and apps take a back seat to some good back and forth banter with a stranger or two.
Last Friday night a couple older than me, and obviously married for a long time, was seated to my left. They decided to get a night out and I thought it was pretty cool that they would hang out at the bar as opposed to getting a table in the dining area. Somehow, we started talking and that evolved into a conversation about the stock market, which then evolved into wealth, which then evolved into cars, homes, vacations and things like that. How great it is to be able to have those things and see those amazing places.
I’ve said that too.
The mansion in New Jersey was built to every detail that I could dream of. That was then parlayed that into an even better home in Pennsylvania. The weekend in Paris. The escape to Cabo. The wine tasting in Napa. Those trips were amazing. Everything I always wanted.
A text from my daughter brought me back into the real world. We have developed this method of communication where a gif is all we need to send to let each other know what we are thinking. I got the kitten snuggling under a blanket and I knew she was wishing me a good night. I quickly sent her the emperor penguin looking down at his chick. She knows I love her.
The bartender saw my drink was waaay to low and asked me if I wanted another bourbon. Like he had to ask. He’s a very personable guy who bounces between this location and the original bar a few towns away. He just got married to the love of his life. She is really smart, incredibly successful and apparently very hot. The total package. She was going to meet him later and they were going to keep the weekend going. “I am never getting divorced” he boasted as I raised my glass to him.
I’ve said that too.
I got married soon after graduation and lived the most amazing life. The things we experienced, the laughs we shared, the obstacles we overcame. We had lots of fun making babies and the four kids we raised are all incredible and arguably have taught us as much as we have taught them.
I will see my ex tomorrow when I pick up the boys for the weekend. Sometimes husband and wife are also best friends. And sometimes husband and wife become best friends. A little different don’t ya think? We’ll talk about the kids and make sure we are both doing well. We will be there for each other just as best friends would.
As I'm writing this it’s been a couple of days since a funeral I attended back on Staten Island. Roy was a great man, a World War II veteran and the close companion to my godmother for about 15 years. He was the most positive, full of life person you could ever have the chance of knowing. And that coming as he couldn’t even walk (he was 95). When I would talk to him, I always felt like I got the perspective I needed at that time as to what really is important in life.
At the luncheon following the funeral I heard my godmother saying how she can’t believe she will never see him again. I wondered if there was anything she wanted to say to him that she never did or had the chance to. Or if she felt like she took anything for granted in their time together that she wished she appreciated more while he was here.
I said goodbye to everyone (many that I’ve never met before and will never see again), got in my car and headed back home. I reflected on the day, Roy and trying to keep the perspective that Roy would make sure I had. I am committed to never take this life, or the wonderful things I have experienced, for granted ever again.
Go ahead……. you can say it.