Monday, July 17, 2017 – San Francisco 11 PM
I arrived in San Francisco last Friday night. I’m staying in a old hotel/apartment complex. I guess it was an apartment complex that has been turned into a hotel. It was just after 7 PM when I arrived and the sun setting was just enough light to shine through the apartment’s bay window. I unpacked my items and dressed in a somewhat revealing little black dress. I scheduled a cab so I could head out to dinner. These cabs around here are like the children’s roller coaster rides at Disneyland. You think they are safe, but then you get that sudden jolt that causes you to second guess yourself and hope you make it out safely. I asked the driver just to drop me off in Chinatown and I was sure I could find some food that wouldn’t disappoint. I walked along the streets and saw a place called the R & G Lounge that looked a bit crowded, but then realized they had an upstairs seating area too. The hostess quickly ushered me upstairs and seated me. I ordered a pot of green tea and began looking at the vast menu. They had a lot of specialty items, but I decided on the duck, rice, dumplings and an eggplant dish. I asked the waiter if they could do a 4 (5 being the hottest) for the spice level. He looked at me incredulously. “Really? A 4 is very spicy. Very hot!” As if I didn’t quite understand what spicy meant. Maybe he underestimated me since my skin is incredibly white. “Are you sure?” he asked me again with a concerned expression. I smiled and said, “See all this red hair on my head? I like it fiery like that! I am originally from Texas. I can handle it.” He laughed and said, “Okay, okay. I bring you water too. If you want, we have green tea ice cream.” “I’ll let you know, but I’m sure I’ll be fine. Thank you!” Oh the food was scrumptious! It was all so incredible! I’ve never had eggplant in a Chinese dish before and I wish I would have taken a picture of the menu so I could remember the name of it. I’ll have to look up the menu online. I’ll need to find a way to recreate something similar or find a place in LA similar. LA is such a big city, surely I could find a similar place. I loved the ambiance of the restaurant. The chandeliers lightly flickered with all the rushing motion. The servers bounded up and down the stairs making sure everyone was enjoying the food. There was a family across the way that ordered a crab that took up the entire table! Next time, I’m doing that and then I really will get looks from the server! Ah, but I hate reheating fish in a hotel. That’s just nasty. It makes your clothes smell awful. Anyway, I lingered over my pot of tea and the server brought me three fortune cookies. He said, “You alone? You need 7 lucky cookies. Don’t tell my manager.” I smiled, thanked him and gave him a generous tip. I think he felt sorry for me. Typically, I might feel sorry for myself. I was here, alone after a heartbreaking journey that lasted just over a year. We were divorced now. I felt like a failure for having a marriage fail so early. I blame myself. I blame him. Then I realize that isn’t doing me any good to blame either of us so I picked up yoga, started journaling and moved to LA. Even though I write for my career, it is extremely different writing as a therapeutic venture rather than drafting stories for comic books. Yes, I’ve broken through the wall of male comic writers and I’m a successful female writer in what was once a male industry. Well, that can be said for a lot of industries. Anyway, I’m rambling. I guess that’s what a journal is for though, huh? Rambling when you need to ramble. People get impatient with a rambling friend. Here, I can be completely honest and ramble to my heart’s content. Well, here’s the weird thing that happened. Maybe I’m just thinking too much about it because I’m looking for a sign of hope after picking up my strength again. I opened my handbag and placed two of the fortune cookies inside, while unwrapping the 1st one to read the fortune. It said, “You will receive an unexpected gift from an acquaintance.” I smiled and saved my fortune like I always do. I zipped it into the little protective pocket of my handbag and called a cab. When I arrived back at the hotel, stopped by the front desk to ask if they had any bottled water because I really don’t enjoy drinking tap water. The attendant smiled and said they did and came back to the desk with two bottles of water and what looked like a jewelry box which I assumed had complimentary chocolate. I took the box and water upstairs and settled down in front of the bay window to enjoy a quiet moment before going to sleep. I unwrapped the box and there was a smaller box inside with the tiniest little card. The card say, “Hey Alex! Congratulations on your new job! I heard you were in town. If you have time while you are here give me a call, Trevor.” I haven’t talked to Trevor since I was in high school. We actually were in the high school production of Little Women. I played Jo and he played Laurie. Trevor didn’t know this because I was too embarrassed to tell him, but the kiss we shared in the play was my first kiss. I liked Trevor a lot, but he had a lot of friends. I didn’t think he even remembered me. Why was he suddenly contacting me? And with such a gift? Inside the box was a necklace with the words “I think I shall write books, and get rich and famous” – Jo March. My heart melted! I smiled and then remembered my little fortune that said I’d receive an unexpected gift. My heart suddenly flickered a bit and believed that perhaps fate of the world does offer a bit of hope.
Tuesday, July 18, 2018
This morning, I got ready for my conference and about mid-morning I texted Trevor. I said, “Thank you so much for the beautiful surprise. I’d love to have dinner and catch up with you. I’m free any night except Wednesday. I leave Thursday morning.”
I wasn’t very hungry when lunchtime rolled around, so I got a cup of tea from the lobby and walked to the window to catch up on emails. I decided to eat another other fortune cookie. My 2nd lucky cookie I thought, smiling to myself. I read “Your financial outlook is excellent.” Well, my outlook is excellent, but I’m not so sure about my actual finances. LA is expensive and even though I landed a great job – well, it is evening out. I eat lots of ramen, tuna, and tea. My phone buzzed and I got a text from my mom.
“Can we talk when you have a minute?” it said.
I called her and hoped nothing was wrong. She answered and said, “It’s okay if you don’t have time right now.” “It’s cool, Mom. I have a few minutes before the next session. Is something wrong?” “Oh no. I just wanted you to know that your Aunt Jane just sent a check to us with a note. She said, ‘I want to give away my wealth before I die so ya’ll won’t fight over it when I’m gone. I want you to give Alex $5,000.00’. So I’m going to deposit this today and then I’ll write you a check and send it to you.” (Mom doesn’t know how to transfer money via PayPal or Venmo or anything. I’ve tried to help and it is a hopeless situation.)
I was stunned.
“Alex? Did you hear me? You there?”
“Uh, yes Mom. Wow! Um, thank you! Can you give me her number so I can call and tell her thank you?”
I was dumbfounded. Then I remembered the fortune cookie I’d just eaten. Maybe they are lucky cookies…
Trevor texted me back and said we could meet at the chowder house on the pier for dinner. My heart started racing a tiny bit.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Last night, I had the most magical evening! I was so nervous about seeing Trevor again. It had been almost a decade since we’d seen each other. Suddenly, I was worried about my appearance and glanced at myself in the bar mirror. Was it too much that I wore the necklace he got me? Would he think something? Or does he want it to mean more than a kind gesture? I got there early to have a cocktail to calm my nerves. I swirled the drink around and then met Trevor’s eyes in the bar mirror. Turning around I said, “Hi!” He grinned and embraced me. He smelled of expensive cologne. He was wearing black slacks and silvery, grayish button down. I asked him how he was doing and he said, “Great! It is so good to see you! How are you?” How was I really? Well, right then and there I was having a hard time not letting my voice shake with nervous excitement. Yep, still have a crush on him after all these years. Or just attracted. I don’t know, but I like the guy. He has blue eyes, sandy blond hair and a great smile. What’s not to like? I realized I was thinking about all these things instead of saying anything and I quickly replied, “Doing great! Landed a cool job in LA and here for a business conference this week. Of course, you already knew that, huh?” He grinned and nodded his head yes. As much as my heart races when I first see him, its so easy to just have a conversation and talk with him about things. I feel completely at ease with him. I feel like I’m somehow home. I briefly went into my breakup just to let him know that I was ok and it was over. He told me he’s not currently in a relationship. As we sat there having the conversation, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat hopeful. Maybe it’s too soon to get involved with anyone else, but I’ve liked Trevor for a long time. Anyway, we chatted for a long time over dinner and he asked if I’d like to go for a drive. He drove us to the Palace of Fine Arts -which I’ve only seen in pictures. I was completely mesmerized. The structure was a lot larger than I’d anticipated. It looked surreal. I gazed into the water and tried to breathe in the beauty of the moment. Trevor was staring at me and I blushed. I was thankful it was dusky so he couldn’t see my cheeks turning bright pink. He stepped closer and said, “This place was built after the earthquake and fire. It is beautiful and I thought you would enjoy it. I know you’ve been through a lot lately and I don’t want to assume or rush you into anything, but I would love to continue talking with you.” “I’d like that,” I whispered. He grinned and took my hand in his and gave it a gentle squeeze. It had been a while since my breakup and I craved to be held. I looked into his eyes and stepped closer to him. Suddenly, I got the courage to walk into his arms. He brushed my hair away from my face and looked deeply into my eyes. “Remember our kiss at the play?” “Yeah, how could I forget. That was my first kiss.” “What? Wow. I feel honored. Maybe sometime we could recreate the moment?” I don’t know how I suddenly I had all the courage, but I reached up and kissed him. He responded fervently and my heart raced with wonder. Maybe this was the beginning of a new chapter of my life. A new job, a financial gift, and now a rekindled relationship with a guy I liked. I moved away from his embrace and said, “Okay, I know this is super cheesy, but I have to look at my fortune from my fortune cookie.” He laughed and said, “Okay.” I could tell he was questioning if he was about to start with a relationship with a superstitious person. I quickly explained the events of the week and I said, “I just have to see if this matches up! I opened the cookie and we read the fortune together. “Something wonderful is about to happen to you.” I smiled and thought, well, things are getting better! “See! They are lucky fortune cookies!” I looked at Trevor laughed as he moved in for another kiss. This was the first time and probably only time I’d have fortunes come true (and three at that) but I’ll take it! My heart was hopeful for a sign, and I gained hope again. Even if it was just in the magic of the past three days. I hoped it was the first kindling of a new adventure.