Bradley Schuster and the Holy Grail: Chapter 28

On Thursday, Judy Blue Eyes and I met for lunch. And yes, I know what you’re thinking. You’re imagining that she ran into me somewhere and I reluctantly agreed to meet to avoid conflict. But that’s not true: I actually called and invited her out. I won’t stand up in front of the church and claim that I had been struck blind on the road to Damascus and was now a changed person. What had happened was that I’d gotten a glimpse that hon­esty with women had at least the possibility of work­ing. Being honest with Judy Blue Eyes gave me a chance to try out my new philosophy before committing to it irrevocably with Anne.

I wanted to find out how she was and what she’d been doing, but mostly I needed to let her know that I was going on a date with some­body else. I’d thought about it some more in the odd moment between all the tasks that a grad student must juggle, and after further consideration I was still pretty sure she’d be good with it. Since she was a woman, so there was no such thing as positive—except that I was absolutely positive she wouldn’t like it worth a shit if she found out about it from somebody other than me.

Even so, I stammered through a false start or two before I pretty much blurted out that I was going on a date on Saturday. I didn’t really expect her response, however.

“Yeah, funny thing about that. So am I. I was just about to tell you.”

I was too relieved to be jealous (although I would feel twinges for the next several days. Don’t ask me to explain it. I can rationalize things until I’ve turned all of the air in the Astro­dome hot, and The Marquis still does what he feels like). “What a cra­zy coinci­dence. It never ceases to amaze me how alike we are. You want to talk about it?”

“No. Not really.”

Not really. That meant her need for privacy exceeded her cu­riosity. That made me curious, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to push. Then the topic got changed, and the time for true confes­sion had passed. We had a fun lunch filled with our signature repartee and ended up setting a date for dinner and a movie the following week.

* * *

I hadn’t seen The Boomer all week, and with my date with Anne coming up after a day with The Grail, I wouldn’t see him on Saturday either. So I called Friday night to find you what the hell he was up to and why he was hiding out.

“I’d like to put off talking about it a little longer.” His voice sounded husky, as if he’d been up partying all night, although I suspected partying had nothing to do with it. “I know that’s a lot to ask, and you’re the only person I would dare ask such a favor.”

“Bullshit. You’re just getting revenge for how long it took me to introduce you to The Grail.”

That got a raspy laugh. “Maybe so, although that’s more like something The Marquis would do than the Boomer-quis. But it won’t be more than another week, two at the max. Even if Mur­phy’s Law clobbers me with a vengeance.”

“Two weeks!” I feigned horror, although in truth, I wasn’t bothered by any of this. When The Boomer obsesses about something, his perspective gets all out of whack. When he finally did get around to telling me, the chances of me understanding wasn’t all that high.

“Patience is good for the soul, young man. Didn’t your grandmother ever tell you that?”

“No, but that was my high school girlfriend’s motto.”

He hung up without saying goodbye.

Bronze goblet final

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