I woke up early this morning. The cat was curled up at the foot foot the bed and Ray was still sound asleep. It was pitch black outside and quite cold inside so I just curled up into a big ball under the covers.
My mind wandered off way back to the day Ray called me and asked if I wanted to go to dinner. We had known each other casually for a couple of years and he was moving to Chicago from LA. He was going through his phone book, taking friends out to dinner one by one so he could devote his full attention to them as opposed to a big drunken going away party.
That is so Ray.
I was taken aback by this gesture because I always felt that I was way out of his league. I only knew him from renting a room in his house for a short time a couple years prior. He was always so refined, smart and handsome and I was so…me. But who was I to turn down a free meal?
We went to a place called Cobalt in Silverlake. Ray ordered Cadillacs. They’re like a supercharged margarita. After two of them, I started to relax a bit. He sort of made me nervous because I was a very insecure 27 year old back then. While he was talking, I started to realize how cute he was. I never entertained the thought of having an attraction to him because he was not really my type and there was no way in hell a handsome successful man would ever be interested in a tall lanky rock band keyboardist who freelanced in film production. But now, something was different. Maybe I was a bit older and more secure. I started to flirt shamelessly.
The next morning–when I woke up in his bed–he gave me the key to his house. We really hit it off the night before (so to speak). I was sort of weirded out by this but quickly realized that we already knew each other and hell, it was the key I had when I lived there before.
This was a perfect arrangement, he was going to be moving away in a couple of months. What a perfect no-frills mini relationship-fling thing. We knew it was going to end so there were no messy attachments.
We spent the next three months doing dinner, doing each other and just hanging out. I stood on the street and waved goodbye one morning and never expected to see him again. But then he called.
He flew back to visit. I flew there. He flew back. I flew there. He knew to never ask me to move because I was so entrenched in the LA scene. I had just finished working on the Shawshank Redemption with another film lined up and my band had some record label interest. There was no way I was going to leave when I was on the verge of major success.
After a year of long distance dating, I broke it off. I was growing tired of trying not to fall for someone so far away. Ray agreed. A short time later. He called one more time and said, “I love you. I want you to move here.” I did the most adult thing I have ever done in my life. I said I’d think about it.
One day, I was at band practice. Our guitar player stopped mid-song and asked me to turn my keyboards down. Like a ton of bricks, I realized that:
A. Our guitar player was an asshole and I hated him.
B. The film industry sucks.
C. LA sucks.
D. There was a totally hot guy in a new town offering me the chance of a lifetime and I was turning it down!
So I left and never looked back…
The alarm went off. Ray rolled over and shut it off. I leaned into him and whispered, “Happy anniversary honey.”
That dinner with the Cadillacs was fourteen years ago today.