For the past 3 years, it seems that I have been too busy for anything but the family, my housework and my job. I am not complaining but a few days ago it occurred to me that I really miss my friend Nancy. Nancy is an incredible attorney with a life very different from mine and lives a few states away. Nancy is laugh out loud witty, very smart and most of all, nice. We met when were teens and have been great friends for years. She suggested we meet Applebees on Friday - she said six... I said seven... knowing today was the last day to finish all my employee appraisals and file the paperwork.
I arrived at seven, took my electronic place in line and waited - watching out the window for my friend. Around 7:15 a young mother came in with her 4 year old daughter and sat down next to me. I listened to the mother talk to her daughter about her day at school, her lunch and their dinner. (It made me miss my daughter as a four year old.) At 7:30, Nancy walked in looking wonderful as she had just dropped a ton of weight. She suggested we eat at the bar so I gave the mother and daughter my electronic space in line.
At the bar we enjoyed catching up and soon a young man sitting next to us was listening to our conversation and eventually peppering it with commentary. He started telling us about his life and revealed that he had HIV, He invited us to Gay bingo saying strait people are allowed and that April would have a 70s theme. He acted shocked when we told him how old we were and insisted that we did not look like we were 49. (I love bar lighting.) He told us he was unemployed and just stopped by the bar for a drink after seeing a movie. I asked him how he paid for his medication and he told me about the Ryan White foundation. Any one remember Ryan White? I do! This foundation provides medicine to HIV patients for nothing.
Later, when he went to the bathroom, I asked Nancy if she always has encounters like this and she replied -- only when I am with you. No wonder why we are friends.
After a couple of hours Nancy and I payed out bill for two diet cokes, breaded shrimp (Lent) and two cranberry juices. I noticed that the young man was now talking to two young girls. I said -" .. Predictable - you dumped us for two younger girls." Then he hugged me and Nancy and said goodbye. Tomorrow -- I will wake up and send a check to the Ryan White Foundation.