W and I drove to Baltimore today. We are staying in Baltimore tonight and leaving for Washington, D.C., super early.
After we walked around the city for a bit, we went out to dinner at a nice Italian place.
The waiter spotted the safety pin on W’s shirt and started up a conversation.
W tells him we are going to the march tomorrow.
Before we know it, he is telling us about his partner of 25 years and how today’s inauguration has left him heartbroken.
“Us, too,” we say.
As he waits on us, he occasionally sits down and asks us questions and shares bits of his life with us.
“Tell him your analogy,” W says.
“She works with cancer patients,” I say. “Donald Trump becoming President reminds me of these stories she tells about people having these weird accidents and breaking an arm or a leg. When they get a scan, the doctors find a tumor. The broken arm or leg ends up being a blessing in disguise because it’s revealed the cancer. It’s brought all of the problems to the surface so they can be cured.”
“That’s one way of seeing the good in things,” he says.
“If it wasn’t for all of the bad stuff going on, we wouldn’t be talking to you right now,” W says.
The three of us nod our heads.
As the waiter brings us our meals, he slips us an extra carafe of Chianti and then another.
My wine glass is full as I eat my eggplant parmesan. And as I wipe up every last bit of sauce with bread.
“Maybe all of this Trump stuff isn’t so bad after all,” I say to W as I drink my wine.
“Maybe Trump was right,” I add. “It’s day one and he’s already made America great.”
I salute her with my glass of wine. My full glass of free wine. Free wine scores huge points in my world. Bigly huge.
“I wonder if we’ll have free wine every night for the next four years?” I ponder out loud.
At this point, I am pretty buzzed.
And then the wine is gone.
And we pay our bill.
The waiter hands us a brown paper bag containing a hunk of tiramisu and a cannoli. Free Italian desserts. As if the night couldn’t get any better.
We say our goodbyes. W hugs the waiter because she’s a hugger and gives him her safety pin. I wave like the queen of some foreign country because I am weird and aloof.
And as we walk out of the restaurant, I think that we’ll be okay. No, I know in my heart that we’ll be okay.
We aren’t alone. We have each other.
And now we have a reason to reach out to each other, talk to each other, comfort each other.
Plus, free wine and dessert.