February 7th, 1992
Lexington Hotel, New York
Back in my second favourite city (it’ll always be you, LA!) where the wind chill tears rapidly through every layer of clothing, reminding me of the expression; “Chilled to the bone.”
Flight was absolutely horrendous with the most unpleasant bunch of passengers I’ve encountered in a long time. Thankfully, us crew managed to keep each other going, especially during the most trying moments when it seemed every call bell was binging and bonging. The worst passengers are the ones that think it’s acceptable to make a grab for you. Whenever that happens (a lot today!) I have to bite my tongue to stop me from hissing; “If you need a diet coke that badly, then perhaps you should’ve brought your own!”
In spite of the arduous flight, it was worth it for the chance to meet up with Christopher tonight. We met in the hotel bar as planned (he was early, I was late!) and had a quick drink before braving the arctic air and heading around the corner to his beloved Irish bar, which, given his ancestry is Eastern European, I find highly amusing.
We grabbed the last two stools at the bar and Christopher wasted no time ordering while I used my glove to brush what looked to be bread crumbs off the bar.
“Why do you like this place so much?”
“I don’t know,” he said, glancing around. “I just do.”
“It’s a bit run down. Definitely not the sort of joint I associate you with.”
“Or you,” he chuckled. “Would you rather go someplace else?”
“Nah,” I drawled. “I don’t mind slumming it for a few hours, but first I need to go and wash my hands!”
As usual, we fell into an easy conversation and it didn’t take long before the talk turned to my upcoming nuptials.
“Are you nervous?”
I shook my head. “Why would I be nervous?”
“No reason I guess,” he said with a heavy shrug and a long draw of his Guinness.
“You don’t sound very convincing. Is there something you want to say?”
“Yes,” he nodded, licking his lips.
I cocked my head to the side, expecting some pithy revelation. “This pint of Guinness,” he grinned, “Is the best I’ve ever had.”
I smacked his forearm. “Tell me what you were really about to say!”
Slowly twisting the coaster, he said, “I’m kinda surprised you’re not marrying Ben.”
Leaning back on the stool, I gestured for him to continue.
“I always figured you two would end up together.”
Taken aback, I blurted, “You have to be kidding! Ben’s a bloody nightmare!”
“Maybe so, but I know you loved him.”
I waved my hand dismissively. “That was during my insanity phase.”
He gave me questioning look and I tried not to laugh when, in a robot voice, I added;
“I. Was. Crazy. But. I. Am. All. Better. Now.”
Christopher cracked up laughing and for a split second I thought I might tell him I bumped into Ben at the cinema but I knew if I did, the conversation would take a turn, raising questions I don’t have answers to. He put his hand on my shoulder and gently squeezed. “I just wanna make sure you’re doing the right thing, you know?”
I cupped my hand over his. “Thank you. I appreciate your concern.”
He held up his almost empty glass. “Here’s to you and William.”
“And to you and Laurie,” I said, clinking my glass to his.
“Same again or are you ready to kick it up a few notches?”
I laughed. “If you’re thinking tequila, this might not be the best place.”
“True,” he smiled. “But we can get a whole lot more drunk here for a whole lot less!”