The ride to Mystic Seaport, for the weekend reception of Ryan Green, got off to a very shaky start.
Grady asked Marc, the very former fling out of our friend Luke's past, to be his date. Luke flipped it on Grady, playing a sickeningly sweet game of cat and mouse. Will took me as his date, leaving Luke as the unattached bachelor that he is.
It was sweet of Will to be my chaperone, rather watchdog, in place of Finn, in case of any sudden leap I might attempt to make into any number of bodies of water with bridges high enough to do the job right.
"You don't have to keep staring at me like that. I'm fine, really I am."
"I know you're fine. That's the part that scares me," Will said.
I was in the backseat, squeezed next to Will and beside a mountain of weekend gear. Luke took the wheel, offering, with an overly wide, obliging smile, to haul everyone's luggage, in this way blocking the passenger seat and any space for Grady or his date to ride along. Grady played his move, stating how exciting and romantic a train-ride journey would be to jumpstart the weekend. Checkmate, your move, Luke.
"A romantic Amtrak ride."
"It's Mystic Seaport. I went there on a goddamned field trip in fifth grade," Luke grumbled.
"Cut Grady some slack"
"Besides, you had exactly how many dates with Marc?"
"Exactly," Will added, when Luke did not answer his question with words, but with grunts.
"Let me handle this," I whispered to Will.
"Luke, with your looks, why get your balls in a knot over a guy like Marc? I mean, really, you've already had him. Let Grady pick what's left of the bones."
"Aww, Grady. That's sweet," he sighed, in sheer delight, as if he'd just delivered the fat and scraps of a t-bone steak into the starving mouth of a junkyard dog.
Will's wink solidified my artillery of quick-witted antidotes for soothing a self-loving ego-beast like Luke Yates.
"What are you planning to say to Ryan when you see him?"
"And make sure you look hot saying it," Will added, as Luke spoke.
I had gone with, for something old, my vintage Don Loper tuxedo shirt, and for something at once brand-new, borrowed and blue, my fresh out of the box, $355 Lanvin midnight-blue loafers, which I bought borrowing Luke's corporate discount at Barney's.
"I'm going to tell him, point-blank, that this is all a big mistake and that I love him."
The sound of blaring horns and tires burning filled the car as Will jumped forward in shock, causing a very bewildered Luke to scramble for control of the wheel....