The Most Memorable Dinner Ever
I phoned David, the cat I met hitchhiking in California. We had
hitchhiked up the coast to Seattle together. He lived in a small
N.Y.C. apartment, and when Jimmy and I went over to see him, he seemed different from when I knew him back on the highway. For instance, in California we both raved about the music of Cream, Hendrix, and the Who, but when I arrived at his place I found him listening to country western music. It wasn’t just any country western music, however, he only listened to songs that had the theme of “mothers” in it. It didn’t take long to realize he hadn’t changed much though. Dave was always a little strange, and in his natural environment I wouldn’t expect him to be any different, besides I liked Dave because he was a little strange. While we were listening to Marty Robbins, George Jones, and others sing about their mothers, a couple of David’s friends showed up and before they left they invited us, Jimmy, David, and myself, over to their place for dinner on Thursday night.
When dinner night came, Jim went with Mike and Sandy to Sandy’s girlfriend’s place to see another chick who had just flew in from Houghton Lake. I went to Dave’s so we could attend the dinner at David’s friend’s place. When we entered his friend’s apartment, I was taken aback by the living conditions. In a three-room apartment (of a lower class variety) there lived a husband and wife, their three little children, and the mother-in-law and brother-in-law. It was hard enough just to fit in the apartment, not to mention trying to get around the makeshift table that was created for this occasion. I didn’t expect much for dinner. Boy, was I wrong! After the candles on the table were lit, the hors d’oeuvres were served, and a delicious white wine was poured. The overhead lights were turned off and the women brought in the baked chicken on a flaming platter. I can’t remember when I enjoyed a meal more.
I found out later that it was the couple’s anniversary and it made
me feel good that they invited me to share this special occasion
with them, but if I had known, I would have politely refused their
invitation. “Life is what you make it,” and nowhere was that adage
more on display than in this family. After dinner, Dave, his happily
married friend, and I, left for the gymnasium to play basketball.
Dave was asthmatic and frail, and not a good basketball player. It
worked out though because I wasn’t as good as the rest of the
player’s, so I sat the bench with Dave. After the game, Dave wanted me to go play cards with him and some of his other friends. I begged off the invitation by telling him I had to go see the girl who had just flew in from Michigan. The last thing I wanted to do was play more cards.