27. Dinner out

My dishes still hadn’t been washed. I kept hoping that if I left them long enough, there might be some sort of Immaculate Disinfection. No such luck.

I looked at the pile that was now above the faucet. You know, I really felt like chicken and ribs tonight anyhow. I’ll come back and clean these later, but since I’m hungry now, I’ll reward myself in advance with dinner out.

On the walk to the chicken and rib place, I thought about what I had just learned about Jesus. This is the kind of knowledge that could cause a big stir. Once I publish this stuff to ALL my readers (the total has been climbing steadily), there could be a huge global backlash. People could start rioting in the streets. Or, maybe they’ll just quietly lose faith and decide to be good because it’s the right thing to do?

Who the hell knows?

“Hey Handsome. Alone tonight?”

My favourite waitress: It doesn’t hurt that she calls me “Handsome”, even if it seems so 1950-ish. Anyhow, it’s better than NOT being called handsome.

I ordered a big platter of chicken and ribs, and a half-litre of red wine. Money was a little tight lately, and it would save me money to order by the half-litre instead of by the glass.

“Paul! Holy cow! Imagine bumping into you here.”

“Mark?” An old family friend. “Good to see you. Can you join me?” Please say no. Please say no.

“I’d love to.”

Fuck. “So what have you been up to lately, Mark?”

“Same old thing. Working hard. You know, I could use some more copywriting done by the best writer in the city. Forget about this interviewing God stuff. Come work for me.”

Hmm. “It’s great of you to offer, Mark, really. If I weren’t in the middle of this series, I might actually take you up on that. Sometimes I feel like I’m always hustling to keep the money coming in. But really, I have to finish this project before I could even consider. Could we talk about that at a later date?”

“Of course.” He leaned in closer. “I heard about you and Brenda separating. Very sorry to hear that, Paul. Is there any chance of reconciliation?”

I almost laughed. “No chance at all, Mark. I’m afraid that bridge has been burned from both ends, but I’m actually enjoying my new life. And the boys love coming to see me in the city on the weekends. We’re having a great time.”

“Well that’s a shame. Let me know if there is anything I can do. And I’m serious about that job offer. You just say the word any time. Will you think about it?”

“Of course.”

He stood up. “Well that’s great. I really have to get back now. I hope to see you soon.”

Thank Jeff, he was gone. I poured another glass of wine. It seemed the right thing to do.