I was so fooled on Thursday night when PJ and my friends planned a surprise going away dinner for me. A few days in advance, PJ was telling me we were going to meet his hunky college friend, Todd, for a few drinks at a local restaurant, which made sense since we had see Todd briefly a few days earlier. So on our way to see "Todd," I see Jon, Josh and Randy walking down Columbus Ave with a big bouquet of pink balloons. So, I roll down the window and yell. "Nice balloons boys!!" All three really didn’t pay attention and I figured they didn't recognize me in the rented car we were driving in and PJ also agreed. I was wondering where three of our closest friends could be going with pink balloons. I SHOULD have put two and two together at this point but I had no idea this was part of my surprise dinner. So, I text Josh letting him know that I was the one that yelled out at them with the balloons, no response. I am now thinking that maybe they are mad at me for something? PJ just keeps telling me that Jim Rice has a birthday coming up and that is most likely where they are going. Again, I believe it.
So, now PJ and I are in front of Masa restaurant waiting for Todd to meet us. PJ now tells me that we are going to meet Todd at Maggiano's because he is interested in investing into the restaurant, which I believed because Todd is part owner of Masa. I am bitching and complaining because I really didn't want to sit at Maggiano's at the bar with people I really didn’t know and Masa looked so cozy inside. We make our way to Maggiano's and I see those pink balloons inside Maggiano's!! I was all excited because I wanted to make fun of Josh for carrying the pink balloons and also find out who's party it was for. Still, I am not thinking any of this is for me. PJ and I get into Maggiano's and I see my best friend, Patrick. Now, the first thing that goes through my head is, why is Patrick here? Why didn’t I know about this? and why wasn't I invited!? That thought left in a blink of an eye when I looked at PJ to tell him Patrick was here and I saw the shit ass grin on PJ's face. The party was for me! I felt rather dumb that I was duped! How could I not put two and two together? HA!
A bunch of my favorite people were there: Patrick, Josh, Jon, Kevin, Will, Charlie, Randy, Frank and Andy, to surprise me with a going away dinner. It was one the nicest things anyone has done for me. I was genuinely surprised and a little embarrassed, and I don't get embarrassed! An endless amount of food was served at the large table we all sat at in the middle of the restaurant. I was in the Jesus position at the table with Kevin playing the role of Mary Magdalene. The pink balloons where attached to my chair, flying high in the crowded restaurant, that also included a "good luck" and Barbie balloon, which attracted the curiosity of the entire restaurant. A few people came over to wish me a "Happy Birthday" or ask what the occasion was. All I had to do was tell them I was "moving to San Francisco" and the "Ah-ha" light went on above their heads - Gay!
Leaving the restaurant we all headed to one of the only gay bars in Boston, Club Cafe. The place was packed and more familiar faces were there: Mike Clisham, Jack, Scott, Steve, Mike Keaney, Dan, Davino and many others. It was all great to see them, most for one last time before I departed to SF. I walked into the place with this oversized balloons tied to my ass, which was funny because they kept hitting all the queens in the head. Looking around at the mobbed bar, I smiled thinking that when I do come back to Boston, this place will still be here and the majority of the faces will be the same...well the same, but gravity will have kicked in a bit.:-) Of course, I will have defied gravity when I come back. Wait isn’t that a slogan for Maybelline?
PJ and I didn't stay long at Club Cafe and we headed home. Before heading home, I wanted to let the balloons go. Originally PJ and I were both thinking I should let them go on Washington Street where I first arrived six years ago homeless, but this was about moving on with someone I love. We decided to let them go where we met at 593/595 Tremont Street. We were neighbors when we met and I truly believe fate brought us together. I let the balloons go right in front of the apartment buildings and we watching them float into the sky. It was very fitting watching the balloons scramble around the night sky and slowly disappear. That’s me...scrambling to get everything down before I "disappear" to California. To make this even more fitting Jon Jones, PJ’s roommate at the time I met both of them, came out of the apartment building as well. It was perfect because he was there in the beginning when PJ and I met and it was great that he saw the balloons in the distance as well. A great end to another chapter in this amazing life I have lived so far. Here's to the next chapter....:-)