My Comrade

My beautiful and handsome (genderfluid) friend Dan is home from Moscow, so tonight we met up to talk about it and to celebrate my birthday. She asked me what I wanted a few weeks ago, and I said, “a t-shirt from Russia, because we’re the same size. I know if you try it on, it’ll fit.” She forgot to bring it, which worked out great for me, because we have another get together planned in the next few weeks. Autumn and her friend Lisa met us as we were finishing up our check and we walked to a gelato store. I had mascarpone and red velvet, because of course I did.

As we caught up on our lives, I told her that the spice in the food was making me feel so much better because I could breathe again. She said she was a “medium spicy” person, and I said that I’ve gotten where I cannot take the heat anymore because my stomach can’t take it, and that’s when I realized that “middle aged” was a thing.

That became the running joke of the night…. “and that’s when I realized… middle aged was a thing.” Danni said that she was 34, and she knew that her 34th birthday was a slow crawl to 35. I said that it was a very pivotal year for me, because that’s when I realized middle aged was a thing. Except we said the last part at the same time. 😉

Danni’s birthday is in December, a fire sign to match her strawberry blonde hair. You’d never guess she was even in her 30s. Me, you get close enough, you see wrinkles. Not so much with her. But we both talked about how you can’t really see it unless you’re getting your hair cut, but there’s more grey than there used to be… and that’s when we realized middle aged was a thing.

I had so much fun bumming around Old Town Alex with them, because on my way home I was looking for a gas station and I found Union Street Public House, home of one of the best meals of my life. It was osso bucco, cooked to perfection, and a glass of red to go with it.

I don’t know if they still offer it, or even if the food is as good now as it used to be, but I promise that I am not exaggerating what it was like then. Kathleen and I stopped in on a lark, and we ended up going there many times, and I always got the same thing. I am not usually that person, but I was there.

I was thinking, “I wish I had remembered this restaurant before we’d eaten….” It would have been fun to take Danni to one of my old haunts. As it was, though, we had a ton of fun eating red curry with fried tofu. Because you know what makes tofu delicious? Throwing it in the deep fryer… because as a Texan, I’m pretty much convinced that’s how you improve anything.

It was a night of great laughter, just glad to have my buddy back in town. I have a feeling we have more to say, which is why I’m glad we’re getting together again. Long conversations are my jam, and when we came to a point in the conversation where we clearly just could have Googled it, we both consciously decided not to, because neither of us wanted to fall into the rabbit hole of noticing missed calls, texts, etc.

That came back to bite us because Autumn and Lisa tried to tell us they were coming, but it worked out. They walked in at the perfect moment…. dessert.

After dessert, it was time to come home.

And that’s how I know middle aged is a thing.

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