August 20th, 1989
Omni Park Central hotel, New York, NY
Spent most of the day with Kimberly, walking around Manhattan and we concluded that the buzz on the street here is intoxicating. There’s so much to see and I imagine that even if you lived here your entire life, you’d never run out of new experiences. Oh how I would love that!
When we came back to the hotel, I literally walked into Joe M from Air Europe days. Joe is hard to miss with his bright ginger hair and Scottish accent, and as fubsy as he looks, he still managed to pick me up and spin me around!
“A cannae believe it,” he boomed.
“It’s nice to see you too,” I laughed. “But you’re making me dizzy, put me down!”
Stopping with the ease of someone half his weight, he asked, “Ye here fur the night?”
I put out my arms to steady myself. “We are.”
I introduced him to Kimberly.
“Well wit’s the plan then?” He asked.
“Actually, we’re meeting a friend of mine later who lives here but I don’t think he’d mind if you came along with us.”
“Friend or friend?” he asked.
I thought it’d be nice to at least let Christopher know not only that there’d be an extra person at the table, but also what to expect when he met Joe. His phone rang twice before picking up.
“Hi, you’ve reached Christopher. I’m not here to take your call right now so please leave a message and I’ll get right back to you.”
I left a long-winded message and imagined Christopher smiling as he listened to it.
A few minutes later, I was on the bed, reading, when the phone rang. Fully expecting it to be Christopher, I answered with, “Ola mi amigo.”
“Sorry,” I said, interrupting him. “I wasn’t expecting it to be you.”
“Did I catch you at a bad time?”
“Oh no, not at all.” The thought of explaining my reaction crossed my mind but I was too eager to hear what David had to say. “This is a lovely surprise. Are you in LA?” I asked, looking at my watch.
“I’m home, yeah. I just called you at home and your mom told me where you were.”
I laughed. “My mum’s good that way, but how did you know which hotel I’d be in?”
We stay at several different hotels in New York and never know which one until we arrive.
“I’m good that way,” he said with a chuckle but didn’t elaborate. “So, how’s the big apple?”
“Isn’t it just the most extraordinary place?” I gushed. “Total bees knees.”
“I don’t know.”
“What? You’ve never been to New York?”
“That’s mental, then again it’s the same distance from LA to New York as it is from New York to London. Wow, you need to see it to believe it, though I imagine LA is pretty exciting as well.”
“I don’t know, LA is cool but it’s kinda split into so many different neighbourhoods.”
“Well I can’t imagine any of them are too shabby.”
He laughed. “I guess you’ll have to come out and see for yourself.”
“I guess I will.”
Absolutely. Definitely. Totally. Dude.
I was still giddy from speaking to David when I met Kimberly (Matilda!) and Joe in the lobby. Joe came barreling towards me.
“Don’t pick me up!”
“Nay chance of that, I think ye broke ma back earlier.”
I hit his arm. “Cheeky bugger.”
“I thought ye said he was just a friend.”
“Who?” I asked.
“The guy wur going tay meet.”
I looked at Kimberly for clarification but she looked as confused as I felt.
“He is just a friend.”
Joe continued. “No wi an expression like that on your fizzog he isnae.”
The penny suddenly dropped. “Oh, no, no, no. This,” I said, circling my finger in front of my face, “this is because of somebody else.”
Joe took a step back and looked me up and down in an exaggerated way. “And tay think ye used to be wan of the quiet lassies at Air Europe.”
We met Christopher at Café Dante in Greenwich Village (his suggestion) and sat outside watching the world go by. As usual, Christopher was attentive and gracious and made polite conversation. After a few glasses of wine, Joe leaned over and whispered, “It’s a bloody shame he’s oan your team and no mine.”
“Your loss,” I smirked.
“Aye, yours as well by the looks of it.”
We ate al fresco and when it came time to give up our table (there’s no way the cues from the impatient waitress could be misconstrued as anything other than, “get outta here,”) Christopher suggested another place. On our way in the cab, Kimberly and I told the boys about the fun we had last night, pretending to be Swedish. They both said they wanted in on the act so it was decided that Joe would be Andreas, whose German accent sounded on point (at least to us!)
“I’m not so good with the accent thing,” Christopher said.
“Ye could be a New Yorker,” Joe teased. “That’d be novel.”
“How about being French?” Kimberly suggested.
“I don’t think I can pull off a French accent,” Christopher said.
“You don’t have to speak,” I offered. “Just shrug your shoulders a lot and shake your head in utter disgust and disdain.”
We cracked up when he turned to us from the front seat and did just that.
I smiled at him. “That’s perfect Jean Jacques.”
Much to my surprise, there was a long line to get into the club but fortunately Christopher’s friend Jessica was on the door. When she spotted him getting out of the cab, she beckoned for him to go to the front of the line. We followed and while they exchanged pleasantries Joe (aka Andreas) made a point of letting everyone in the line know he was “Here vif my girls for ze dancing.”
I liked Nell’s the moment we stepped inside. The décor was made to resemble a British gentlemen’s club, with plenty of upholstered seating in rich fabrics and leather banquettes dotted around. I made myself comfortable beside Christopher on a plush, floral couch and made a mental note to tell Annabel about Nell’s.
“You good here?” Christopher asked above the din.
“Oh yes,” I declared. “I really like it.”
“I figured you would,” he said, looking jubilant.
Kimberly, Joe and I managed to stay “in character,” but our friend Jean Jacques somehow became American and told us more than once how “nuts,” we were, promptly followed by, “but I love you guys and this night is awesome.”
At one point, after Joe finally had the decency to stop flirting with Christopher, he sidled up next to me.
“Are ye sure the two of ye are just friends?”
I nodded my head yes.
“Then yer a dunderhead.”
“Why are you calling me an idiot?” I asked.
“Look at him. He’s pure perfect.”
“He is lovely, I’ll give you that, but we have no chemistry.”
“I beg to differ”, Joe slurred.
When Christopher invited us to his apartment for drinks, Joe gave me his sad, “please say yes,” face. His expression soon changed when I said, “Thank you Christopher, we’d love to but I know you have to get up early for work tomorrow so we’ll head back to the hotel.”
I’ve never been sworn at in a combination of Gaelic and German before!