Thursday, May 2, 2013
During a whole host of springs this century, my friend and I would share a weekend drink, after tennis. Sometimes, tennis was a mere formality, part of the ritual where he'd throw down his racket and I'd throw down my racket and we'd shout, "Cocktails at the Ritz!"
We always took Phoebe along to the Ritz. The bartenders, and over the years we went through three of those -- and the waitresses, we went through about six -- would say, "Up here, Phoebe." And Phoebe would give a hop and place two gentle front paws on the mahogany bar. Then the kissing would commence.
Phoebe kissed in the European fashion; a buzz on the left side of the face, then the right, and the left, again. I don't know where she learned this, probably from the movies.
My friend and I would take our wine to the porch -- a grand porch where you could view the whole aspect of Southern California on a good day, or see nothing but fog on a bad day, which was even better. Phoebe would settle in a chair and count squirrels, waiting for her subjects to pay their respects.
Which they would. Oh, under the auspices of bringing the humans some condiments or topping off our wine. The wine supply was endless and on the house, save for price of another continental smooch. In fact, with all that topping off, we never seemed to make any headway with our drinks at all.
My friend and I played on the Ritz tennis court a couple of times. No one said we could, but then, no one said we couldn't. Phoebe made out with the tennis pro, which kept him occupied.
Phoebe at the Ritz -- that's how I like to remember her.
I have lots of windows into spring; this is one. And it makes me think we should take all good things for granted, or at least without question, now and then, or even as often as possible for as long as possible. Enjoy the magic when glasses of wine fill themselves, when those you love will never die.