The Universe

I have a strong belief system.  The thing is, I’m not exactly sure what it is.  I know I believe in “something”.  But I can’t define it – at least not any more than anyone else can.  For instance, I believe that our lives are predestined.  That said, I also believe in free will.  How do those two things come together?  Simple – I believe it’s pre-destined who will use free will, and who won’t.  So is it really free will?  I’m not sure.  I often think of going to a psychic like reading TV Guide.  Whether you have TV Guide or not, the same shows are going to be on TV.  You may not know about it and will just come upon a show as a surprise, or you can find out in advance and plan.  But can you change what shows will be on TV?  Not on your life.  I suppose you could avoid them, or delay them, but they’re always there.  And that leads to this story.

I was in NYC the week after Thanksgiving – a few days after what would be the anniversary of my first real date with Me2, and our cyber break-up.  The last time we physically saw each other was two years ago – also around this date.  It’s not something I’m conscious of in terms of remembering the actual date (although, if you put a gun to my head, I could make a pretty good guess). 

Normally I am not in NYC on Monday nights – theatre is dark and usually there’s no need to be there otherwise.  But this particular week, I was there because I was going to a benefit being produced by one dear friend, starring another, and written by a third.  So off I went.  A friend from LA who I hadn’t seen in a while recently moved to NYC and we planned to get together.  Sidebar – said friend is a gay porn star (OK, former gay porn star).  Only important because it points out that he’s hot.

This guy wanted to get together after the benefit on Monday night.  In NYC, there’s only one place to go on Mondays – Splash.  And I know that it is one of the few constants in Me2’s life.  He’s always there since he has Tuesdays off.  The most recent times I’ve seen him have been there – another reason not to go to NYC on Mondays.  Anyway, the porn star and I made plans to meet up there, and let the chips fall where they may.

That is, until after the show.  There was a party.  I had a lovely time.  Good friends.  Some nice new people.  A good, positive vibe in the air.  Why fuck that up?  So I txted the porn boy and asked if we could cancel.  I really wasn’t up for running into Me2.  Not that there would be a confrontation, but just having that energy around me wasn’t something I wanted.  It is something I constantly wrestle with – I want to see him, but I don’t want the negativity.  And since I don’t know a way to see eachother without negativity, I try to avoid seeing him.  He doesn’t realize this, holding onto some misguided thoughts that I purposely try to run into him when the opposite is true.  But, I’ve learned that people believe what they want to believe.

Anyway, Monday night was cancelled and I went back to where I was staying – the swanky penthouse above Broadway, inches away from Daniel Craig’s resting head.  Since I had a full schedule, the porn boy and I made tentative plans for a late lunch on Tuesday.  That was all I had left in my schedule.  Since I had a 7PM curtain, lunch around 3PM would be great.  It could be my one meal, I wouldn’t be in a rush, and then I could stay out and go to the show.

The next day I awoke, texted him to see if we were still on.  I chose Elmo – fun, gay, casual, good food, not too expensive, and no one would be there at 3PM on a Tuesday.  We had a plan and off I went.  As I stepped outside, I could see it was getting ready to rain.  I dashed back up to the penthouse to grab an umbrella and said I was running late.  No prob, said the pup.  He just got to the restaurant and it was empty…so he’d grab a table and just wait as I zipped downtown in my cab.

When I got into the restaurant, I saw him immediately in front of me.  He rose, thrilled to see me (well, who could blame him) and gave me a huge hug.  However, in mid-embrace I felt an odd energy to my right.  And then, in this otherwise empty restaurant, was one other party.  Just two tables to our right sat Me2.  It appeared he had finished eating and was drinking something like ice tea while he read a book.  At least that’s what I gathered – I never looked directly at him.  Like an eclipse, one mustn’t looked directly at Me2 for fear of irreparable damage to the corneas!

It’s extraordinary to me that in all of Manhattan, we ended up in the same restaurant.  That he, who lives on the upper east side, was having lunch on a Tuesday at 3PM in Chelsea – lower west side.  And that of the only two people in all of NYC who end up in this one random restaurant at the same time, it’s us.  What are the chances?  That’s why I say there are no accidents.  There is obviously a reason.  Sure, I told the the Universe that I wasn’t going to run into Me2 this trip by avoiding a Monday night out.  But if the Universe wants you to run into someone, there’s nothing you can do to stop it.  Alas, I suspect Me2 believes that I somehow planned this – like I have him under 24 hour surveillance.  It’s madness…but it’s who he is.

Anyway, I sat across from my “date” – never have I been so happy to be meeting such an attractive person.  Alas, I wasn’t just across from the porn pup – I was diagonally across from Me2.  Two seats to my right and across from me.  OY!  As luck would have it, he (and the porn boy) had their backs to the wall which had a mirror on it.  So as I sat across from them, I was acutely aware of how I looked…and I managed to make every spontaneous movement look as attractive as possible.  I tossed my hair back and laughed with abandon, and then rested my chin pensively on my hand.  I relaxed every brow muscle like I had just been shot up with Botox (which mightn’t have been a bad thing).  And I don’t remember anything we talked about.

We never spoke – Me2 and I.  We never looked at eachother.  We never acknowledged eachother.  The closest we came to any contact at all was when he got up to (presumably) go to the bathroom and had to brush by my chair – giving me a good look at him in the mirror.  He looked better than I could have hoped.  This actually made me happy – I like to think I have excellent taste in men…even those who despise me.  And I certainly expected him to look good.  I wished I had put a teensy bit more care into looking as good as humanly possible.  But given the circumstances, I was fine with it.

Maybe 30 minutes after we sat down, Me2 got up to leave.  He spoke to some people in the restaurant before going.  Maybe they’re friends.  Maybe this is one of his hang outs – like Splash on Mondays.  Who knows.  But without any fanfare, he was gone.

Some time later, while the porno boy and I were sharing a bowl of tomato soup, I just started laughing hysterically – without any prompting.  He asked what was so funny.  “Do you remember the guy sitting a few tables over?” I asked.  “You mean the only other person who’s been in this restaurant?  Yeah.  What about him?”  “Well,” I said, “he’s my ex.”  My date looked shocked.  “And you just realized that now?”  “No, I knew the moment I walked in,” I said.  “I’m confused – did you guys say hi or something?  I don’t remember you acknowledging eachother,” he said, somewhat puzzled.  “Oh, no, we didn’t.  That’s part of the game,” I said, smiling. 

I gave him a watered down, 60 second version of our history which didn’t do either of us justice.  But it did lead him to say, “I wish I had known – we really could have put on a show.”  Oh, I’m sure we could have.  But that would have been fake…well, as fake as that laugh I had as I tossed back my hair! 

This was two months ago.  I have no better understanding of why it happened than I did then.  Obviously we’re in eachother’s lives for a reason.  What that reason is, I don’t know.  But there is unfinished business.  Maybe the Universe wants us to find our way back to eachother.  Maybe the Universe wants us to learn to co-exist in the world without tension.  Or maybe on that day the Universe wanted to happened exactly what happened.  We saw eachother.  And we went on with our day. 

There are no accidents.  Everything is pre-destined.  We have free will.  The beauty is when we choose to use it…

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