It's Friday so let's talk about love and food of course.
But not so much Food Matters this time.
Rider Marcus was running late for a very special occasion. He had wanted to be somewhere exactly at 5 but ran into some complications.
"Where did it tell you to pick me up?"
"It was in the back but I figured it out. Not sure why GPS was directing me over there when it was clear where you likely were."
"The GPS is weird sometimes. I don't know why. You'd think it would let you tell you what business nearby but it doesn't. Then people come and wait 30 seconds and just leave."
"It's ok. I figured it out. If you hadn't been there I would have probably just gone in and gotten myself some yuppie juice or something. I would have waited. It's no big deal."
"I appreciate it. I'm actually running late. I was hoping to be somewhere by 5 for my girlfriend."
"Oh? Is there something special then?"
"Well she's been working on something for years that was to be turned in exactly at 5. I wanted to be there and congratulate her for accomplishing that. I don't have much time and I'm running 20 minutes later than I wanted but I still wanted to see her and surprise her."
Marcus had a bouquet of flowers in his hand. You can probably do the math.
We then talked about love a bit. About how long he'd been with her and about the journey with her not always being easy.
"We've been together off and on a bit. It started last year."
Oh man. I stopped dead in conversation.
"Well I've had my own things with that too. I'm really happy to see you getting your lady flowers. In two years of back and forth mine didn't ever do that. It's endearing seeing this."
We ended up talking a bit about things with the gent (not written enough about) from Once Loved.
"Well who is the shit? Is it he or is it you?"
"Yes." I said.
I told him about two separate instances that have been long discussed and milled over and debated by the two of us over the course of the past two years. I didn't hold back. I admitted that it has not been an easy time and I haven't been the best with things either. I asked him if I was wrong about some of my actions and he shook his head.
"I'm sorry. There are good guys out there."
"I know. He's still one of them but I..."
I sighed and shrugged before I continued a bit more.
"It was the picket fence type thing. I thought that was where we were headed. That's why when he wouldn't go as I wanted to fight a very important legal battle I just got really bummed and I never meant to do anything other than express my disappointment and implore him to come because it was important to me. I wish he would have come with me but.."
And as we turned the corner we got to our destination. It was a house surrounded by.. you guessed it- a white picket fence.
"Speaking of which!"
"Hey if you need a ride back let me know. I'll come back and get you if it's not that long."
"I'll let you know." he said and exited the car.
I drove away and was thankful enough for him and for our chat. It was a really beautiful chat on a beautiful day and then my phone rang...
"Hey Jena are you still around? I'm going to request another Lyft and was wondering if I requested if you were still in the area."
I had gone down the street and had just completed an email that came in while I had been driving.
"Yeah I'm around. I can head over. I just finished something and I'm not far. Just request and I'll be right there."
I drove back and got Marcus.
"It's been such a long time!"
When he got in we continued our chat a bit more.
"There was this one incredible night before everything happened that.. well it just changed everything."
"What was that?"
"Well when we were friends it was really safe. I felt like I could tell him anything and that it was just ok. That I could just be vulnerable and unafraid and.."
"So what happened?"
"Well on this one late night it was kind of something out of a comic book or a movie. It was cold and he opened up his hoodie and invited me close. We had never been that close before. It was only a hug but..."
"But when I went in that hoody it was like the world was complete. It was like in a comic you'd probably see hearts and things all around. It was safe. It was home. It was completion. Everything just felt right for the first time with anyone ever."
Marcus listened. You could tell he got it.
"Well as great as that is, there's a place for it outside of someone else too."
"I know. And I'm whole there too."
"Good. It's important to be."
As we pulled back into Whole Foods Marcus reminded me again to be positive and open.
"There are good guys out there."
"Thank you for being one of them."
"And hey.. don't take shit and don't be a shit."
I picked him up at Whole Foods in Venice on Rose... and man was it more than just a ride to and from a grocery store. It was an experience and a wonderful reminder of the good and wholeness that resides both with other people and within.