A birthday party with Paul
My buddy Paul moved close to me in the UWS years ago but I hardly saw him.
Nothing happened between us so much as life happened to us, individually. Plus COVID.
He knew Alison really well – in fact, he was there when we met, when we dated, and everything afterward. Until she died.
I remember asking him if Alison was attractive because I thought she was so beautiful that I thought I might be seeing things.
He told me she was. That’s happened exactly twice in my life.
In any case, whenever I thought of him, I thought of his wedding, which Alison couldn’t come to because she was pregnant with the boy and didn’t want anyone to know.
And then everything turned to shit. He did nothing wrong at all.
Like I said, I was avoiding people from my old life for a while after Alison died because everything reminded me of her and I wanted to forget.
But, because I don’t hit the grief button as often as I used to, I’ve been slowly seeing my old friends again.
He invited me to his kid’s birthday party the other day and the boy and I went.
Boy: Will I know anyone there?
Me: Maybe. But there’s pizza and cake.
Weirdly enough, ran into a fella that went to my old gym that we used to call The Chessmaster. He was a really good fighter but was tactically very good as well.
He moved to the hood too. It’s funny how many people move into my area.
There’s a spot in Central Park, the Bethesda Fountain, where if you sit there long enough, the entire city walks by. – Fools Rush In
Afterward, the boy and I went on another bike ride around the park.
I wonder what, if anything, he’ll remember of these moments.
Him: Papa, look! A raccoon.
Me: Man, you have some good eyes, kid.
Did manage to catch up with the Counselor the other night near her pad, though.
Me: Before I come in, you should know that I’m armed.
Her: (shrugging) It’s fine. I have weapons too.
Me: (laughing and handing them to her) Noted. Please don’t stab me.
Her: I can’t promise that.
I had injured myself yet again at my gym, this time my knee.
Her: Do you want me to wrap it for you? I’m pretty good at it.
Me: Why is that?
Her: (shrugging) Cheerleader captain. You have to know this kinda stuff.
She propped me up on a knee brace she happened to have and put an icepack on my knee.
Me: I gotta say, this is one of the weirder dates I’ve been on.
Her: (laughing) Rum?
Me: (looking at her bottle) That’s like moonshine.
Her: This is what I grew up on.
Me: Well, ok then.
She gave me back my scarf too.
I think I’m making progress. A little.