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“When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun’.” ― Groucho Marx

He offered to pick me up and I agreed.  At 7pm he was standing outside my building. We smiled and hugged. It felt familiar and comfortable. 

He drove a small, vintage, or just old, Porsche. One of those cars that is hard to get in and out of it.  It reminded me of my old vintage Mercedes.  It even smelled the same: a combination of old leather and burning oil.

I asked him to choose the restaurant. He chose a French one called Le Provencal, located in Mamaroneck.  So happens, it is the same restaurant ex took me for my birthday on our second date.

On the way there I told him that and he offered to go someplace else. I wanted to go there anyway and make new memories.

When we got there the restaurant was empty, so we got to choose our table.  He wanted a table in the middle, but I opted for one in a corner.  It felt cozier.  It was the right choice.

The meal: We both had a cocktail made of elderberry.  It was delicious.  We shared an onion and bacon tart as an appetizer.  He had coq au vin with mashed potatoes and asparagus.  I had John Dory fish (who knew there was a fish with that name?) with eggplant caviar and spinach.  I love eggplant, so I was intrigued by the eggplant caviar. It was a major disappointment.  It was a pate of eggplant with tons of cinnamon.  

I didn’t want dessert at the restaurant.  I got a lemon tart with raspberry coulis to take to my sister.

“I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s
why.” ― John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men

The conversation:  There was not a single boring or awkward moment. We talked about everything.  We talked about work, vacations, finances, sports, etc. We had a lot fun. 

We both agreed that we were having fun and that we were the same in person, as we have been in the phone, for all these years.  He said I am exactly what he expected:  confident, intelligent, full of life and above all, happy.  He had my name listed as “Happy Ana” in his phone. 

I expected to have a great time, but it was surprisingly even more fun than I expected.

At one point he asked if we were on a date.  I hesitated, but then said: no.  I reminded him that from the beginning he had mentioned he was not open to romance.  We had become friends, and this, to me, was a dinner with a friend.  He seemed disappointed, but understood. 

He said that he is in a better place as of 6 months ago.  I guess he forgot to mention that to me.  Not that it would make a difference.  He became a friend, and once that happens I am not sure I want to risk a friendship for a potential romance.

“When you’re in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, ‘Damn, that was fun’.” ― Groucho Marx

After dinner:  We decided to take a walk around and look for a place to have dessert.  We went to Milk N Cookies and got some cookies to take home.  Then we stop at a Paleteria and got ice cream on the way to the car.

He drove me home.  He got out and opened the door for me, We hugged good bye.

Later he texted me to say what an amazing time he had.  I said I did too.

“Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough.” ― Emily Dickinson

The future:  I have no idea, but I feel I met a great friend in person. We will meet up again, and hopefully it will not take another 5 years 🙂  

Yesterday he sent me a video that he said reminded him of me.  He said I should share it with my sister.  At first I didn’t get it.  My sister thought it was a commentary about the difference in our hair.  Her with the crazy curly dark hair, and me with the lighter, straight hair.

He said it was not about that and explained:

He is not wrong! 🙂

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” ― Marianne Williamson