Friday, October 26, 2007

Of course, I was in New York - Part 2

Image stolen from Allie. In the picture are, left to right, David, Dennis, Allen, Liz, Joan, and PJ.

Before I move on with the story, I like to do my official homage to the Priest Who Is Mad. Without MadPriest and his blog, "where the lunatics rave", we'd never have met and come to know each other, and I thank him for that. It was a job well done. Again, thanks to Gabe for the place to meet and the setting up, Dennis for organizing the whole affair, Allie for the cutout, That Kaeton Woman for the suggestion of the restaurant. Thanks as well to our own private paparazzi for the great pictures.

I confess that I was a little apprehensive about meeting Les Deux Formidables, Tobias Haller and Elizabeth Kaeton. Tobias seemed formidable because of his learning, his wonderful writing style, and his kind and patient manner with his adversaries, as he totally vanquishes them with his arguments. Then, there are his icons, and his musical compositions. Should any one person have so many gifts? But he graciously gives them away, which is the reason God gives gifts to us.

Elizabeth seemed a force to be reckoned with, and I was a little afraid of her before I met her. She is so strong in her fight for justice and inclusion, and she appears undaunted in the face of opposition, sometimes ugly opposition.

However, I must tell you that these two people are harmless. Neither would hurt a flea. However much this revelation may work to destroy their reputations, I must tell the truth. They are both delightful, witty people, fun to be with, and as down to earth as anyone I know.

After Evensong we all trooped over to Le Grainne which was almost next door. The restaurant had set up three tables for us, but I believe we overwhelmed them a little.

I finally got my wine in the restaurant. It's my medicine, you know. Doctor's orders. One glass of red every day. At our table, we raised a glass to all those who would have wanted to be with us, but could not be. We talked a lot of church politics, what our dioceses were like, how our churches differed. At one point I mentioned that most of the folks in my church are oblivious of the controversies swirling around, that they don't really give a shit. I said, "I wish that I could be like that, out of it. I wish that I didn't give a shit. I'd be a lot better off." And that's the truth of it.

The restaurant was a little noisy, so I talked mainly talked to Tobias, Allie, and Shel. Every now and again, I shouted something to Johnie, and he kept up with the wine, filling the glasses. I thought the food was quite good. I've forgotten what I had, but it was Italian and the same as Tobias' order.

Joan (JerseyJo) met us at the restaurant, (It was good to meet you, Joan.) and Elizabeth finally made her way to join us after we had finished eating. Her late arrival was due to a traffic horror trying to come in from New Jersey, but did she ever stir the pot when she walked in. We were standing up, talking to people we had not been able to talk to during dinner, very much in the way of the wait staff, and I don't know whose idea it was, probably That Kaeton Woman, for her and me to pose for a kiss on the lips picture - a peck, really, as she said, since I am a bird, and wounded, at that. We did, and cameras flashed. Then we had requests for another, so we did it again, but it seems none of the pictures came out, unless someone plans to surprise us down the road - or blackmail us.

David, the Rev Boy, joined us at the restaurant, too, and what a dear he is, and so good-looking. Everyone fell in love with him. I wanted to take him home with me.

Then we had to settle the bill, with each table getting their bill. I have no head for that, so I left it to Johnie to work out. Since I was running out of cash, I wanted, if possible, to put the bill on my credit card, and that's how we worked it out. You see, I don't have an ATM card, because I don't want another damned card. Besides, it seems to me that when you go to take money out of an ATM that you'd just as well have a "Rob me" sign on your back.

Parting is such sweet sorrow, and, sadly, all good things must come to an end, but all's well that ends well. We said our good-byes and gave our hugs, and went our separate ways. Klady and I were headed for the same subway station and Johnieb in the same direction for his train. Liz and Allen very kindly insisted on walking with us to make sure we did not get lost.

Outside the subway station, we bid farewell to Liz and Allen, and Johnie grabbed me and kissed me ON THE LIPS. So there you have it - another kiss on the lips, but without cameras this time. Klady and I took our separate trains, and it was over, but the sweet memories remain.

The next morning I met Dennis and David for a visit to MOMA, which did not happen due to locked doors. Dennis has a wonderful account of our time together at his blog.

I'll write later about my visit to Tobias' church, the exhibit at the Guggenheim, and the wonderful concert by the Winchester Cathedral Choir at St. Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue.