Better Nate Than Lever

I am writing this again after having had a miserable experience with writing in my browser. For some reason, linux has an option to turn off the touchpad while I’m typing, but it doesn’t work with every application. So, I’m working hard on telling you all about my dinner with Nathan, and BAM. Gone. All because the palm of my hand made my browser hit “back.” So I will still tell you all about dinner with Nathan, but if you hate this entry, the other one was better….. or at least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Nate is my mother’s sister’s kid, but he has become so much more than that to me. Of everyone in my extended family, he’s probably the person I know/get along with the best, simply because I see him more. I am thrilled to be able to be his friend on a day-to-day basis now, because we’ve never had that before as adults, and as kids, there were only five years in which we lived close to my grandmother and therefore were able to share holidays. As we were talking about earlier, it’s been kind of sad how disconnected we’ve become since our grandmother died, and we’re trying to fix it. He’s been great about telling me how to get help for mental health in this area, because he’s a forensic psychiatrist himself. It’s interesting, basically he works with insurance companies as the third-party who can tell the insurance company objectively whether a patient’s mental health can be directly correlated to an accident. He’s also trying to get back into patient care, which I support wholeheartedly, because if he is this wonderful to me, I can’t imagine how much the people would love him who get to call him their doctor.

We started at a Mexican restaurant called Lauriol Plaza in Dupont. I had Chuletas de Cochinilo, grilled pork chops (they had me at chuleta….) served over mashed potatoes, greens, apples, and pineapple. It is the first truly outstanding meal I have had in DC, and I can’t wait to go back, possibly even for work.

I don’t know that I could be a line cook there, though. Fine dining is not my area. In terms of my role as line cook, I am somewhere between organ grinder and monkey. I think I would be a much better server, because I can be quite charming when I want to be. I just need to practice my wine service. To me, that’s the only hard part of waiting tables in fine dining, because I am not smooth enough without constant repetition and it’s been years. However, I cannot impress upon you how cool this restaurant is. You’ll just have to visit it yourself.

After we finished at Lauriol Plaza, we walked to Afterwords, because as it turns out, Afterwords and Teaism are two of Nathan’s favorites as well. We had coffee and dessert, and I got to remember why it’s my favorite place in the city all over again. I had bread pudding with apples and bananas. Nathan had a lemon tort. Both desserts were equally outrageous, and before we left, I bought a book I’d been thumbing through while we were waiting for our table.

It’s called “The New Codependency,” written by the same author of the watershed book “Codependent No More.” In it, Melody Beattie posits that codependence has changed, and now it looks more like a taker’s entitlement rather than an inability to stop giving. I don’t know that I believe her, but I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, because I cannot imagine she hasn’t done her research. 🙂

I personally think it’s a combination of both… a spectrum in which we all fall somewhere in every relationship but not necessarily the same role in each one. Perhaps that’s what Beattie says as well, but I am not finished with anything except the synopsis on the back. I will keep you posted. I know you’re riveted. I’ll try to read fast.

After books, it was time to go home. Nathan and I hugged and said our goodbyes at the Metro, and then I got on the train. When I arrived in Silver Spring, there was something big going down at the Mickey D’s, but I didn’t stay around to see what. I am sure I will find out in tomorrow’s edition of the Post. No need to go looking for trouble, even though I’d planned to get a Diet Coke and settle in for an hour of writing or so. Instead, I just walked home.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude at all the love that has poured out for me here. All the “oh my God I can’t believe it-s” and the “I’m so glad you’re here-s” make my days brighter than they’ve been in months. Divorcing my precious Dana just whipped the shit out of me, and I am just now recovering from it, especially since being so far away makes my relationship with Dana naturally fall back to best friends without any danger of crossing lines so that we are confused about the nature of our relationship….. or at least, now I’m not confused. That’s probably the take-home message I meant to write in the first place.

I made a friend-connection on Tinder a few days ago with a roller derby chick named Sarah. We’re going to have coffee in the next week or so. She’s seeing someone, so no danger of anything but fun. It’s nice to get connected with a lesbian in this town, because even though it’s one of the gayest places on earth, it’s hard to get established when you don’t know anyone…. although I do know one person.


I named her myself. Can’t you tell? Her actual name is Prianka, but come on. If I am not calling her Pri-Diddy, I do not know what I am doing with my life. She’s in a relationship as well, but we’ve never done the whole crush thing. I started chatting with her years ago, and when she had the opportunity to come to Portland, she stayed with me and it cemented us for life. She is absolutely going apeshit that we are practically neighbors in terms of the Red Line (I’m Silver Spring, she’s Van Ness). So am I. I have always wanted a daily relationship with Pri-Diddy, and now I have it.

On Wednesday, I am going to see my friend and former voice teacher, Giles. The way he became my voice teacher is that he was taking a pedagogy class for his master’s in voice and needed a guinea pig. He is the best voice teacher I have ever had in my life, which is surprising because he’s also the youngest. If he’s amenable to it, I’d love to start voice lessons again. It’s been since college, when he first took me under his wing and laughed at my German diction. We became fast friends, what with his whole “I’m a Canadian” schtick. He’s also handsome as a model, and I am not even kidding about that. His husband is one very lucky guy… but then again, so is Giles. I just can’t say for sure because I haven’t met him yet. I am so glad that now Giles is married with a son that I get to be a part of his life now.

I am beginning to see that I could have made a life in DC without Kathleen just fine…………..

Better nate than lever.


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