I don’t want to say my life is different now than it was at this time last year, but (Thank You Howard Ross), Yes, it took a rocket scientist to put things in motion.

Here was my rhythm last spring: Wake up at 6, pray and go eat. Work most the day, then meeting or theater… and then… on the way home, 10 or so, stop to pick up Fourth Meal (which I’d inevitably devour in bed on my stomach to Seinfeld or Letterman). Oh yeah, and but for the occasional road trip, I slept alone.

Somewhere about that time the man that Brother Bob still considers but Fran’s younger brother got wind that a bunch of sixties groups would play Cain Park in August. Corralling his cronies, Howard, (or maybe H, sensing the bands were Bruce-appropriate), emailed me.

“Two tickets,” said I. “Let me know who to pay.”

They were buying them together, this crew of theirs—months in advance. “Who you going to take?” asked my brother (not to be insulting so much as to invite theoretical my hypotheses. With us, it’s always the art of conversation).

April became May became June became…

—-Sometime mid-July the seat was filled. (I think. Frankly, it may have been later).
—-Sometime mid-August I found out it was a date. (I think. Frankly, I’m still not sure).

Ed. Note: When first I was notified by Carrie that indeed she’d considered the concert a date, I pushed back.

“No way”, I’d insisted, citing A) our driving arrangements (H drove), and B) my steadfast adherence to the neutral zone, pivotal fact being that I didn’t try to kiss her.

She smiled.

“Even the fact that you didn’t talk to me,” she shot back—“Even the fact that I spoke more to Hal and Margie that night…even the fact that when we sat down you called your friend Stuart and ignored me“….”It was still a date.”

(This must have been autumn, as our debate was loving. It did not, however, preclude further scrutiny).

“I’m calling my brother. He’ll know.”
(Her eyes rolled, not unlike my son Michael’s when I say something specious).
I hung up the phone.

October became November became December became…

— ‘Twas the dead of winter, I suppose, and our Wednesday date. Sitting, chilling at the Cedarcreek Grill, her friend approached. ‘Though we’d met once before, that night, for whatever reason, the talk came easy.

“You know,” said the lady, “You really disappointed her on that first date. You didn’t even kiss her!”
“It wasn’t a date,” I asserted. “And she had me drop her in the back”.
“Puhleeeeze”, said her buddy.
“OK,” I exclaimed, a la Cosmo Kramer. “I’m never going to say it wasn’t a date again….STARTING NOW!!!”
(But I wasn’t done. There were, I’d supposed, amends to be made).

We went home that night, the two of us—just a half hour later. She stepped from the car and gingerly I cut her off.

“Let’s go back ‘round the house,” I insisted. “I want that first kiss”.
“You’re nuts,” she decried, acquiescing.
“There,” I said moments later, “ THAT’S for our first date.”

*****        *****        *****        ******

I got a note from my brother—last week. They’ll be at Cain Park again, they will: The Turtles, Gary Puckett…even Mark Lindsay.

“Two tickets,” said I. “Let me know who to pay.”

Ah, but this year the dog won’t hunt. ‘Though the emails did sail, the guys didn’t care. Not this year. Not even H.

I went on line today (to get the tickets).

For two of us–just the two of us.

We’ll go in one car this time and I’ll drive. I’ll take her home this time, alone.

Where I’ll stay.

It will be more than a date this year. It will be the two of us: happy together.


  1. alan wieder says:

    this is all so, so good

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