We caught up while Joe fixed dinner: tortellini alfredo with fresh green beans, garlic bread, and red wine. (This was not last year’s “cabinet” but infinitely better.) My job was to keep talking while he worked. I can do this.
We carried our glasses to the living room after dinner, where I chose “Fargo” from among Joe’s offerings for the night’s entertainment. I hadn’t seen this bizarre black comedy since it was in theatres. Each Coen Brothers movie has their unmistakable mark. The wine and the driving finally made their influence known, and when the movie ended I admitted I was tired. It was time for bed, and Joe fixed me up on his sofa. I slept soundly through the night.
We went to breakfast on Saturday morning at a little locally-owned place that had good food at an incredibly reasonable price. This is the sort of café that becomes “your” place. From there we drove to a boat club at the confluence of the Caloosahatchee River and the Gulf. We walked out on the pier and looked over the water while we talked.
Oh, how we talked. You know how you hope you can use your limited time well, but you have no control over whether that happens? It happened this time. Joe and I had one of the richest conversations I’ve had in a very long time; and yet I can’t be specific because we discussed so much. I came away with a great deal to ponder over forgiveness, gay culture, spiritual identity, family and more. It was very hard to call time and say that I needed to get back.
I had more visits to make that day, and I was running a little late. I gave Joe a farewell hug and knew that our friendship had deepened considerably in this short visit. I am incredibly grateful for his hospitality, honesty and challenges, and I can’t wait for our next visit.
I got in the car and headed for my next rendezvous.