Monday, September 25, 2006

Friends... Who Needs 'Em?

I was in London to see “Wicked.” I had been waiting so long and finally, the day had arrived. I check out of super posh hotel and checked into semi-posh hotel and sent a message to Paul who was meeting me in London to join me for the play that night. Well, not only was it raining outside, it seemed to be raining on Paul’s life and he had to back-out at the last minute, leaving me all alone in a big city where I had no friends. The violins were cued, the piano played steadily and I sulked and sulked. I would have done something productive to take my mind off of the situation, but I was concerned that 9am cocktails might give the wrong impression. I could have opted for some champagne with my eggs, but my inner Betty Ford told me to hold on for a few hours. I usually try to ignore her, but for some reason I caved in. I know, I’m weak. I have no willpower.

I frantically tried to find someone else to join me. I messaged Nik who was still in London for business, but he turned me down cold. That’s what friends are for. Joe, Ulco, Ann, Mark, I tried them all and all I got back was the cold stab of rejection. The excuses were unimaginative… “I’m in Barcelona”, “I’m in Tel Aviv”, “I’m in full body traction.” I saw right their feeble attempts to mislead me but decided I would be the one to act with dignity. There was one thing to do. I would go to the play and have an empty seat beside me. I would turn every now and again, holding an animated conversation with someone only I could see. We would laugh and gossip and I would forget the empty friend shaped hole in my heart.

I ended up selling my ticket for half price to a dodgy looking man in a trench coat and fedora standing just outside the theatre and he, in turn, sold it to this little Australian woman named Christine. She was, in a word, fantastic. We hit it off like a pair of Tiffany diamond earrings. She was almost as sparkly as I and I even gave her my restaurant tip and told her to just skip it all and go directly to the mash. The musical itself was amazing. I had all sorts of expectations and it blew them right out of the water. I have to say, Idina Menzel looks so good green, it isn’t even funny. I have never seen someone carry it off with her level of confidence. I won’t say too much about it, as I don’t wish to give anything away and spoil it – I know, I am feeling a bit charitable today – but I highly recommend it. Well, not to Joachim since he is strictly anti-musical.

After the play, I had a glass of bubbles and then tucked myself into bed as I had to be up early for my morning flight to Brussels… My weekend was just beginning and already it had been too fabulous.

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