Day One with RG Daughter
Hugging her like there is no letting her go when she meets me at the airport. Meaning it when I tell her how cute her apartment is and how much I have been looking forward to spending the next few days with her. Collapsing early into bed that night, still reeling from a busy few days at work and receiving a scolding email from my GM about leaving on an earlier flight and not letting him know that fact soon enough, so that an imploding lunch service earlier that day now appears to be entirely my fault. Never mind that the chef had already said that a large party could order from the a la carte menu instead of the limited one the restaurant usually requires, or that everyone knew several days in advance that the large party was booked and still only a rookie and one other weak server were scheduled, or that a slew of folks without reservations would also show up clamoring for burgers and salads, or that my GM wouldn’t see my email about catching an earlier plane until the damage was done.
Yeah, it was all my fault. Because after a year and two months, I am quite certain that I still don’t measure up to much more than mediocre in my GM’s eyes. And as of today, I just plain suck.
Day Two with RG Daughter
She needs clothes that fit. I have a little extra cash these days since our D.C. house sold. I take her shopping in the trendy boutiques downtown. She is desperate to find jeans. I know that feeling. Damn the price, buy what fits and celebrate it. She does. I find a few things I like, too. We are two girls, shopping and talking and walking forever. I have not seen her since I moved two months ago. I cannot believe how much I have missed her.
Day Three with RG Daughter
She has to work the day shift behind the bar, but I am welcome to come hang out and do whatever while she does, she tells me. After a quick run–quick because I huff and puff the three miles as I fight against an altitude to which I thought I had already adjusted–I land in her restaurant. I am amazed at its very cool interior. I am struck by its small but very cool menu that includes such items as almond-stuffed bacon-wrapped dates for a small plate and a pasta dish dressed with sauce made from local produce for a daily special. I am utterly shocked at watching my very cool “baby” be in charge as she pours beer and chats up the guests like a pro who’s been doing this forever.
I perch for hours sipping a light pear cider in an area called “the living room” and I write and write and write. I watch golden leaves flutter about the parking lot on a 75-degree sunny day that makes it seem like Fall can’t possible be here already. I wear jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt, having shed a fleece earlier that morning. Crisp air, clear sunlight, no humidity. Mountains everywhere. No men calling me “baby,” no beach bar drama, no emptiness inside that no amount of wine or cigarettes can fill.
I never want to leave this moment. I never want to leave, period. I fight the urge to send a text to the boy’s friend who is now my friend that says, “Ship my dog, keep my stuff. I am never coming back.”
Because I am not sure I would be kidding.