Ryan, Michael and Daniel were already seated at the very back of Norma’s with their backs to the wall, and facing the entrance. This was prime real estate. We could sit and watch (and more likely) judge everyone that walked into the restaurant. The diners were primarily tourists that were staying in the adjoining hotel which made it even more deliciously fun. We made up bizarre sexual fetishes for elderly couples, played “guess the addiction,” and of course “spot the gay.” It was cheap entertainment. Brunch at Norma’s, on the other hand, was not.
“Where’s Christopher?” I asked to no one in particular.
“He’s running late,” Ryan said. “How was your date on Saturday?” he asked.
I shot Daniel a look before he could answer for me. Daniel, who was with the same twenty-two year old from Thursday night, spotted me at the bar sipping a blueberry-infused vodka.
“Don’t ask,” I said and took a sip of the complimentary watermelon smoothie.
“Oh, I won’t. I could’ve told you how that date was going to end before you left your apartment,” Michael said in between sips of his cappuccino.
“Um, hello? You’re actually saying that OUT LOUD. Not nice,” I said. Ryan, being the good friend that he is, smacked Michael on his shoulder.
Michael may have been telling the truth, but…
I actually prefer my friends to lie to me in cases that may cause me emotional distress-which is ninety-five percent of time.
“Besides, you’re the one who said just last week I needed to put myself out there more,” I snipped.
“Pretend to care…Pretend to care…Pretend to care,” Michael said with his eyes closed as if this were some new mantra he picked up during a yoga class at Jivamutki. As if on cue, Ryan threw a piece of his scone at Michael’s forehead.
“Sorry honey, was I using my outside voice? I need to work on that,” Michael said and then finally smiled. As bitchy as Michael was pretending to be, I knew he was only kidding. That was just typical snarky Michael, and that’s why I loved him.
“Cute,” I said. Unlike the shirt you’re wearing.”
We had a strict “no accessory” rule. That meant no tricks, no boyfriends, no husbands, no friends from work, and no other “girlfriends”–there was only one hag at this party thank you very much.
If you’re looking for Will & Grace, turn Lifetime on because this is not it.
These are my own issues–hence the need to write this blog. As Christopher and Alfredo approached the table, I smiled as best as I could. Daniel would tell me later that I looked more constipated than happy.
I stared at the two of them and I don’t know what was brewing inside my head but suddenly an epiphany. I felt like my emotions had been crystalized in one single thought:
What if all of your dreams came true…for your best friend?
Jealousy? Possibly. But it felt different from jealousy. I still can’t quite put my finger on it. Christopher said his hellos to the boys, and then finally it was just him and I standing in front of another. A moment, that as much as I tried to prepare for since hearing about his pending nuptials, I still wasn’t ready for.
“Hi babe,” he said with a giant smile.