“I’m your best friend.”
“I love her. I don’t want to be alone.”
“Ha. Like me.”
“I didn’t mean it, like that.”
I know it will last. I know it will be a fantastic wedding and reception. My best friend has so many friends. I should be happy he wants to do this. We looked at a few chefs I know. He pushed some food around the plate. I’m not the best man. I’m not even the best man for this. He needs a Dad. I hold his hand and pat his back.
“You don’t like it?”
Then, I stared at the chef, who immediately turned red.
“I can make whatever you’d like—.”
“Ours is not a hm; we’re within a certain culture.”
“I don’t like it.”
“Okay. Well. Thank you.”
“But I can—.”
“I’m sure. You can leave.”
I sighed. I stopped restaurants altogether a long, long time ago. I like the future wife’s cooking. She is an amazing woman—a family business. She raised three pretty cool kids that aren’t jerks. Well. They’ll probably get there eventually, but I might be dead by then, and he could handle it. Haha. I’m delighted he wants to get married. I feel like I won’t be there for him in the future, and that bothers me.
There’s not much that could fix that; it’s a personal problem.
“Can I get some more stool?”
“Well. I am eating, so I’ll see.”
“I’m here till five if you want to stop by?”
(Everyday. I want to stop by and bother you.)
“I’ll see if I could squeeze one out. Just for you.”
“So romantic. Bye.”
I wonder if she’d come with me? I think you should have a date that feels great maybe, worry less if they look great. I saw a show of Drew Barrymore while sitting in the hospital. Her laugh. Her everything. I was just like, wow. I’m sure she’s busy in July. I wouldn’t want to come to a big Italian wedding in a tiny old church. Besides, that’s the other thing. Pressure. I invite someone to my best friend’s wedding. I know all his friends and family. I play with the kids all the kids. I’ve built a tiny life without love for someone to sit next to me. So. I’m just going to have to pass on Drew Barrymore.
Sorry. I dig women with guy names too. I’m a guy with a girl’s name, so I relate.
We go to the following Italian place before I have to work across town. We pretty much had lunches all morning. Decadent. Cheese-filled. Handmade everything. I know my favorite place in Phoenix. It’s my Mom’s favorite place.
“Il polpo si deve cuocere nella sua stessa acqua”
Let the octopus cook in it’s own water.
She would tell me about my best friend. Who’s the total opposite of me. He’s not cooking, but he’s presenting, so everything has to feel perfect. It’s better to move a mountain by hand than get him to change his mind. When I got married to my ex-wife, we went for tacos after. It’s a place we liked or could agree on; she had the number two, and I had the ten.
“Why isn’t your wife here?”
“You’re my wife today; try this. Tu mangi.”
“That’s good! How come we never went here.”
“You don’t like Scottsdale.”
“Oh. Well. True.”
We decided on this place. It’s perfect. My best friend dropped a considerable deposit. Shakily scribbling his signature over the contract, he barely read it. I look out the panorama windows to the city. A lady walks up next to me. I smiled. She nodded.
“If it doesn’t work out between you too—.”
“Oh. No! We’re almost family.”
“I’m so sorry. Haha. You look great together.”
“Thanks? I think.”
“I have to go to work.”
I walked away quickly. It was a nice view.