A long time ago, I went to France to study music and met a boy who told me he loved me as we stood in lamplight on the Pont Neuf,watching the boats go by. I didn’t believe him, but it was what I wanted to hear. We’d spent the day squiring an eggplant sporting my sunglasses, around Paris and taking pictures of it in front of major tourist attractions. The eggplant was part of a theatrical production the boy was in. He wanted the pictures for the show, but the eggplant provided a convenient distraction from the awkwardness of the question we didn’t really want to be asking –what happens when you go your way and I go mine? The eggplant is in nearly every photo I have from that trip.
What happened when he went his way and I went mine? Not much, really. It was messy but brief. And then we didn’t speak for a long time, years. And then out of the blue he invited me to a concert he was doing and I was so surprised that I went. And then I unexpectedly ran into him at a conference, literally the minute I walked in the front door. And now we are friends again and we live in the same city, albeit on opposite ends. The eggplant did not survive the immigration process.
Over the weekend, the boy wrote about a play in Brooklyn that he’d seen. He posted it to VisageTome and tagged me and a few other people, urging us to see it. I looked up the play and discovered it’s at a theater company founded by one of the other parents of a kid on AJ’s baseball team. I mentioned this fact to the boy, and he said they were old friends.
I talked to the parent about our mutual friend and he told me they’d gone to college together. “And how do you know him?” the logical question I should have been prepared for, after which there was a pause while I groped for an answer that didn’t involve vegetables or make me sound like an overly nostalgic ex-girlfriend. “Oh, we were in school in France together, a long time ago.”
New York can feel like the world’s tiniest place.
It was a good weekend all around. On Friday, I had the day off and spent most of it sitting in the park with my guitar and my conference paper in progress. AJ went to his 8th grade dance and came home in one piece. On Saturday, I had dinner with a good friend visiting from Chicago and two of her friends who live a block away from me. We ate at a fantastic new restaurant in the neighborhood.
It is perhaps worth noting that I did not have the eggplant.
This afternoon AJ stepped up to the plate, the very first batter for his team, and whacked a home run. Afterwards I stopped to chat with a couple of friends watching their kids play later games. I went home and ran into Mr. Spy who was coming back to the park with cocktails. So I went back with him and we found our friends and poured out gimlets. At that very moment, it started to rain. We finished our cocktails under an enormous tree, but we were all pretty soaked (in both senses of the word) by the time we left the park.
And now, I’m trying to get myself organized for a trip to Boston this week for which I still have not bought my train tickets. I am not planning on packing any vegetables or cocktails but am nevertheless looking forward to the ride.