(I’m Always Touched By Your) Presence Dear

Well it’s later than I anticipated. It’s almost 11:30 here. I just got back from having dinner with Bill and his friend Lawrence and Lawrence’s boyfriend Joe. Lawrence used to live in Hoboken and now he and his boyfriend live in Secaucus.

I remembered Lawrence vaguely from 20 years ago when I worked at a local video store. He has an out of the ordinary surname so that would stick out in my mind.

Lawrence suggested East LA, one of his old haunts when he lived here and Bill not knowing any better agreed. It’s not my favorite spot. The food is edible, the service is horrible and the music is way too loud. It’s also owned by the dickhead former Mayor of Hoboken.

I enjoy going out to dinner and having a conversation, but going to East LA, one doesn’t go for conversation. It could be the food, the margaritas, not the ambiance.

I hustled to get out of work on time to make it to dinner at 8:00, not taking into consideration that many people with no taste would be going there on a Tuesday night, causing us to wait for a table for 4.

The host told us 20 minutes and when the 20 minutes passed, Joe went and asked. The host said he told us 30 to 40 minutes, but just then a table opened up.

We ordered 3 Corona’s and a margarita. Bill got the last Corona. A faux Mexican restaurant with no Corona. I had a Heineken.

After about 45 minutes the wait thing finally decided to take our orders. I had to check Bill’s menu since my menu had smudges on the price list. Still I put on a smiling face and engaged in conversation which was mainly trying to be heard above Good Life, by Inner City. A 12” club record I played about 23 years ago.

A group of 20 somethings threw food at each other landing on our table. It was Bill’s birthday and I did my best to have a good time. I could barely hear Lawrence or Joe but I think I laughed and smiled at the appropriate moments.

Despite all the noise and the lousy service it was good to spend time with Bill and his friends. There was no birthday cake to celebrate Bill’s birthday though. That was a drag. Arthur’s would have been a better spot to go, but I wasn’t making any decisions. I was along for the ride.

I grinned and bared it. I think Bill, Lawrence and Joe would have been content to stay there longer than we did if I didn’t mention that I needed to go grocery shopping at 11:00 to buy things for breakfast. Perhaps Lawrence and Joe thought I was a stick in the mud.

It’s more than likely that I will go to the actual Eastern Los Angeles before I go to East LA again.

It was a long day for me and I was hoping for a nice time with friends of Bill’s, not anticipating being horse from shouting while trying to have a conversation.

Now Bill is asleep in bed, and here I am, finally home and writing. I ‘m glad Bill had a happy birthday.

Lawrence & Joe

El Stiffo & the Birthday boy

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