Derek 214 Sutton Place
Just a crumpled napkin retrieved from an old briefcase from a time when women carried briefcases instead of purses to appear professional. Flattened, crumpled, thrown in the garbage, retrieved, crumpled and flattened again, tucked in an old hardcover copy of Couples by John Updike. Tiny. The words printed neatly in blue ballpoint. Nearly dissolved by a ring of chardonnay poured from a small bottle 35,000 feet above somewhere between Chicago and Toronto.
You had the window seat 16A but offered to switch when I leaned over too many times to catch a glimpse of land below I had never been above before. You helped me get through customs, my first time, you a pro. Fate had us in the same hotel. You for just that one night. We shared a cab downtown and you offered to show me the city. We checked in then you took me to dinner atop the CN tower. After we walked hand in hand up Yonge Street in the falling snow where we stopped at a native arts store and you talked me into buying an Inuit soapstone bird. It is on my mantle today.
I took a bath and carefully hung up my suits for the week. When sleep did not come, I reached into my coat pocket for the napkin. Then fresh. Knocking on the door softly, soundlessly, halfway hoping you would not hear. We made love. Room 214 Sutton Place March 6, 1989. So gentle, kind and caring. I left while you were sleeping. Many many lifetimes ago.
If I had bothered to ask your last name, I could have googled it now, searched you out, to tell you your daughter gave birth to a baby boy early this morning after extended labor. Knowing her story, she named him Yonge.