Last Saturday morning, Dan Wakefield and I had just been seated at Cafe Patachou when I saw a woman seated at the bar who looked nearly identical in profile, even in 3/4 profile, to a museum laboratory scientist that I recently interviewed.
(full disclosure: I did not have my glasses on)
I told Dan I needed to say hello quickly and asked if I should introduce him. He shook his head with an expression of “Please, do not do that to me”.
As I was just about to tap the woman on the shoulder, I hear her say to a staff member across the bar and to her left (all I had was the back of her head at this moment),
“Please tell him my ass doesn’t look like a waffle iron.”
All rightly then…I clearly had the wrong woman.
So she turns and I politely introduce myself and tell her she looks very familiar and expressed my apologies for realizing when it was too late that she was not whom I thought she was but it was worth the risk of embarrassment.
She says, “Well at least you didn’t tell me that I looked like the dead, homeless woman you stepped over on your walk over here.” (2 for 2)
I told her that indeed, she did not and quickly left her side. I shared it with Dan after I could speak again.
A couple nights later, I was with Dan again, this time attending his Uncle Dan’s Story Hour, a radio show recorded in Dan’s beloved watering hole, The Red Key Tavern. His featured guest was Mark Vonnegut, Kurt’s oldest son. Dan was friends with Mark’s father and it seems only natural that Mark would have an affinity for Dan, especially in the wake of Kurt’s passing. However, I believe the two would be friends, irregardless of the friendship Dan shared with Mark’s famous father.
My relationship with Dan is one of friends, as I have written about before, but Dan is one of my closest friends, a best friend. He’s trustworthy and a great listener, which is what every great friendship should be based upon. Dan is also one of the funniest people I know, in his own way of course. He speaks volumes with an expression, he can react with sincere annoyance, such as the poor crop of movies he’s receiving right now from the Screenwriter’s Guild (Oscar contenders) and trigger my laughter.
To be clear, I am not laughing at him, but his outbursts are funny, even when he is not trying to be. He doesn’t get annoyed with me for laughing (note: another friend trait). Both of my grandfathers died prior to my 6th birthday, so it seems natural for me to have a relationship like this with Dan, although he prefers “mature father figure” to that of “grandfather”. Watching Mark reach over and touch Dan’s back during the taping of the show, or as evidenced in the photo where I stand in the middle, is an act of affection by Mark.
I get it. I feel it, too.