Donnie, of six parties a week, would glide into a room to a sea of handshakes and a cyclone of air kisses. If you looked up the word ‘bon vivant’ in Webster’s dictionary, Donnie’s picture would be there.
Divorced for well over 15 years, he was on the party circuit. He was the party circuit. Jealously, his male friends dubbed him ‘Scout’. Fondly, women called him Casanova, in a good-humored kind of way. Yes, there’s an ounce of truth in all jest. Once upon a time, Donnie was the bachelor who was hot to trot – now, the only thing haute he was after was cuisine. He held court at Spruce, Rigolo, and the Grand Cafe. After years of search and hunt – catch and release – and after one too many ‘first dates,’ Donnie decided to throw in the towel. Not only did he throw in the towel, but he laundered, folded, and put the towel away. He did something none of his friends had done before. He gave up the chase. He reconciled to fly solo for the rest of his life.
The confirmed bachelor had a bevy of female friends. There were women he went to movies with – women he hiked with, other women he went with to shows and dinner. There wasn’t one single woman to whom he was drawn. Everyone knew abut his best friend, Pearl – his Black Lab. Donnie had waxed rhapsodic about the perfect relationship they had. Pearl was the so-called perfect companion.
Kismet? Serendipity? One ordinary Wednesday, night Donnie agreed to meet Sally, a woman he met at the club, to go to Taize, at Trinity Church on Bush Street. It was their second ‘meeting’ – it wasn’t a date. They sat in the beautifully candle-lit, stone church, very near one another. They shared the song sheet and flickering votive candle. After the readings, rapturous singing and chanting, they found themselves very close. Literally and figuratively. They walked out of the massive church, mesmerized, in silence and expectation. One thing led to another. That was six months ago. Imagine: meeting someone in church, chanting? Some enchanting evening? You betcha. See you in church.
“The real voyage of discovery consists not of seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Proust