Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Pax On A Hot Tin Roof - My Lunch With "Liz"

Went to Philadelphia this afternoon to hook up with Justrose for lunch.

Like a cat on a hot tin roof I was kind of jumpy, I thought the day was going to be doomed because there were all kinds of bad signs beforehand.

* At the PATCO train station the parking lot meter ate two dollars in change but the barrier would not lift and let me in to the lot. I had to park a mile away in one of the free lots.

* Once inside the train-station, a group of damn tourists were trying to figure out how to buy tickets from the machine...change was being dropped and children of the tourists were running about helter skelter - I had to get a one way ticket at the only vendor that was not being manipulated by these twits from Florida (yes, they were from The Sunshine State, I heard them talking about "home").

* On the (crowded) train, some old guy almost sat on the wrapped Xmas gift I had brought with me for Rose. Luckily I snatched it up from the seat beside me before his keester smashed it!

* And finally; when I got to the city and made my way to the turnstile, my ticket kept getting rejected. I picked up the service phone by the turnstile and dialed "O" per the directive on the flashing sign. All I got was a busy signal. So, I hopped the turnstile and another sign flashed, "STOP" in bright red. Instead I held my rejected ticket up to the Big Brother camera that was watching me and smiled and pointed at it. Screw 'em, they still owed me for the two bucks that I lost in the parking lot earlier in New Jersey.

As soon as I came above ground, all was well. Philly is still gussied up in her Holiday finery and the normally busy streets were a bit less congested, this being a week many are off from work.

I snapped a few pictures of City Hall and made my way to the clothespin at Centre Square which was our designated meeting point.

There she was, a sight for sore eyes, my darling Lola; AKA Justrose (also sometimes referred to here as Liz, as in Taylor).

We hugged and kissed and immediately began talking and walking, making our way to the Westbury for a bite to eat and to catch up.

The restaurant was dark and welcoming and we parked ourselves and exchanged Xmas gifts. What can I say, I now have the makings for Strawberry Quick Cocktails (two parts half and half, two shots vanilla vodka, two shots Strawberry Quick syrup!). She had those parcels packed so tight in the gift bag, I nearly threw my back out trying to free them from their festive wrapping - but it was worth it!

Over lunch we discussed our dream neighborhood; a place where a certain Miss Magnolia would be the block captain, a certain Shyguy from Arkansas would be the wacky next door neighbor and possibly even a couple of British Expatriates would be running a tea house on the corner. It was then we decided that if we ever hit the lottery, one of the things we might consider is a "Blog Tour" where we could pay a visit to all the great folks we've "met" online but have never met in person.

I came up with this great idea for Justrose to make some money, she should market her own perfume, picture it, Rose all in white dashing through a crowd, while photographers snap her picture. She stops at a table where men are playing cards and she hands one of the men her miraculous medal and says, "This has always brought me luck". A voice over says, "Miraculous Medal Perfume by Justrose"... yep, she'd make a million!

Just as we were leaving the restaurant we were debating out loud if we wanted cocktails or coffee on our next stop. Liz opted for coffee, while an older gentleman at the bar suggested cocktails. Then he said to me, "Are you in the theatre?" I was kind of dumbfounded by this question and wanted to say, "Of course, maybe you've seen my one man show, "Pax's Follies!", instead I replied in the negative.

"Oh it's just the what you were talking about and the way you were talking about it, I figured you for an actor or something..."

Just another reason to love gay bars!

Ok, now here comes the spooky part. Miss Rowhouse had a major psychic flash and it went something like this... we were schlepping about looking for a coffee house when we discovered the Last Drop had no where to sit (Rose figured that the clientele were all hogging space working on screenplays or something). I suggested that we go to The Millennium Coffee House, so we walked a bit but could not find the joint. Since my sense of direction is legendary for being bad, we stopped into Giovanni's' Room (a gay and lesbian book store) and figured we'd ask how to get there. That's when Rose says, "Maybe Millenium is closed, and if it is I am sure that someone in here will tell of us of an even better place to go!"

So we go in and I ask for directions and the guy behind the counter says, "Oh they went out of business, but there's an even better place to go, it's on Quince street..." You could have knocked me over with a feather.

So we ended up at this funky, cozy little place called The Village where we drank some great coffee and shared cheese cake (that is, I had half of Liz's cake and she had half of mine, and we made a mess of both pieces, but boy howdy, that was some damn good cheese cake!).

Funny how time flies when your having a good time. And I was having a good time. Funny how this woman makes me laugh until I have tears in my eyes, and I was laughing. Funny how someone I have known for less than a year, feels like someone I have known for a lifetime ... and I feel like I've known her for a lifetime.

After our coffee and cake and iced tea, we waited in front of the restaurant for her hubby (aka Dick, as in Burton) to pick her up; we discussed Veal Prince Orloff (exactly what is that, anyone, Magnolia?), absinthe and steak tartar. More guffaws ... I guess you had to be there.

Anyway, Thanks Liz! I had another great day thanks to you, kid-o!

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