The story of Chris
I was alone in this famous Boston restaurant. Just me and 3 employees. There was a time I would have waited 45 minutes for a table but not today, not in the year of Covid... the hostess asked for my phone number for contact tracing and brought me to the table.
I was alone.
I had just been involved in a photo shoot at the Park Plaza.
My waiter Chris brought bread and conversation.
We were alone.
This new reality. No other energy around us. No clanking of plates, humm of neighboring conversations or the noise of cars in traffic outside the windows...just us.
So those who know me well know that I’m inquisitive and rarely shy. Chris was accommodating. I asked about his job? How is he surviving? Has it been like this every day? What is his prediction? Where is this economic drought taking us?
He shared an amazing story... a story that made me hold my heart!...
Stay tuned... the story of Chris.
“Music, once again, saved my life”
Music saved my life resonated like an echo as I watched this man who is my age or close to my age. This man who when I asked “what would you order today?”
Gleefully responded “oh honey, let me set you up....”
He delivered a beautiful chicken dish with broccoli and salad! Perfect!, I thought.
“How did you know?” I asked.
“It’s been my experience that when given the opportunity to let someone else make the decision we are rarely disappointed because the responsibility has been lifted. I just got the sense you were a chicken and broccoli kinda gal and I brought you a Togo box because I already know you won’t finish it!”
“Chris, I said, you are intuitive “
As I dove into my freshly prepared lunch I asked him all the questions...
He is a tall man. Handsome and rugged in appearance. He leaned his body against the opposing booth seat and said
“To be perfectly honest, I had Covid. I have lost so much since March.”
I speared my broccoli with my fork. “How do you mean?”
He looked around the empty restaurant as if he didn’t want to disturb any other guests.
“ I’m a performer. A vocalist. An entertainer.”
I interrupted and said “you! Are! My! People!”...
He smiled, like he’d smile at a groupie.
I said “no, really, I’m the President of this sweet theater company on Cape Cod..”
He cleared his throat.
“So my job ended when gathering stoped because I’m a piano bar singer!”
Oh... this was just the beginning about Chris... how music saved his life....
“So how did music save your life?”
“Well, My roommate and I both got Covid in March. I wasn’t hospitalized but my roommate was. He and I talked on the phone every day. One day he Told me he was being discharged the next day. I set about cleaning the apartment for his homecoming.
I won’t lie. I was looking forward to him being home. I was looking forward to his help with rent and food. It was a tough time.”
I nodded in sympathy.
“I called his room to get the ‘pick up time’ and the house keeper answered.
‘No one here by that name, sir ‘ click-dial tone.
He bowed his head. Then continued.
“Minutes later the hospital called to tell me my roommate had died over night. How could it be? He was 31! We had just spoken on the phone... he was coming home...”. He excused himself from my table and walked toward the bar.
I sat, alone. Hand on my heart.
Thinking of this man, my waiter, sharing this story of his grief.
Chris appeared minutes later with a glass of white wine. He placed it in front of me. “It’s the least I could do having just emotionally vomited all over your ‘big city’ lunch!”
He continued. “ so I’m sick and I’m packing up his life for his family. I had to be sedated. It was surreal.”
We shared respectful silence.
“I have a piano. I know how to play but I prefer singing with an accompanist. But I found myself, in my isolation, playing around with the piano. Truly, this saved my life. What I didn’t realize was how my music defined me and lifted me up. Truly the best therapy during the pandemic. So I made a few recordings and sent them out to friends as Christmas gifts. “
“Wow, I said, I’d love to hear you!” I gushed.
“Oh, he said, Google my name and you can hear some of my stuff” he offered.
Best Private dining afternoon in a long time....
He’d lost his roommate, he’d lost his job and he lost his audience. He’d only been waiting tables for a few months.
Then it happened, I couldn’t help myself. The Irish gift of gab...
“Would you ever consider coming to Cape Cod and performing for the Woods Hole Theater Company?” I pleaded with my waiter...
He smiled, “seriously?” He asked as he cleared my table.
I continued “I’d love to host you at an out door concert this August at the museums on the green in Falmouth for the Woods Hole Theater Company
if you think you could put a show together?”
He smiled a rye smile and looked at me side ways. You know the look. The one that says “your full of shit and this is a pity ask”...
I said...”I’m serious. Out door venue, socially distanced audience, a Thursday evening in July....let’s get you back on stage, huh?”
When I left the restaurant I felt like I’d known him my whole life. I drove home. I couldn’t get him off my mind. Then life intervened...and I left Chris and our encounter in my past.
Until I received this text around midday:
“Hi Annie, Thank you for your generous tip yesterday. It’s people like you that keep me going! Great talking to you! Now we have phone numbers- would love to do a piano/ vocal gig in Falmouth, got some friends there. Now another. Stay safe. Chris”.
So one August 19 at 6 pm my new friend Chris will be making his debut in Falmouth for the Woods Hole Theater Company on the deck at Museums on the green! on the Green! A free concert with donations encouraged. I hope you’ll come to support him! This is an hour long production!
All in All, it was a great private dining experience...
The story of Chris. It’s a shame I’m so introverted... ha ha.
To reserve your spot go to
Bring your lawn chairs and a picnic! This is going to be fun!
Love that sits low and deep in your being and shows itself to you through a song, a fragrance, a taste. It’s really anytime when love sparks a memory. I’m considering the deep guttural love today. I acknowledge the whimsy love but today I’m reflecting on the love that is incorporated into your being on a cellular level. You all know this love but may not have rested long enough to consider it.
This love can be familial but doesn’t have to be. For instance, I have a long love, deep and gracious love of a brother of mine. Mostly because we’ve shared experiences that built these understandings of eternal connection and trust. I talk to him rarely. We aren’t besties. To look at us you wouldn’t say we are close. But we have history. We have shared experiences that give him a life long and protected place in my heart. A place that would bring out my champion for him if he needed me. Now this same brother has built a life, married, has a couple of kids and a huge social web of love and admiration. There is distance between us yet I consider him in my “long love” list.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my other siblings, I do. But I don’t truly know them. I haven’t the love connection. I have the gene pool love that makes them important but not a “long love”button pusher.
As I review my “Long Loves” I see a life saving quality in these folks. As if they popped into my existence when I needed a life ring tossed from the boat named “life in turbulence “ or they brought so much enrichment to my heart that the love remembers and my heart blooms when in the presence of “long loves”.
My heart remembers, engages, celebrates and applauds these people who make my heart beam.
This month I took a saunter into Long and Young loves. I spoke to one of my long loves about this pondering. This man and I have been friends for over 30 years. We’ve weaved in and out of our existence over the years because of long love.
He shares his family with me. We are comfortable in silence and love a great story or board game. I told him I admire him.
I admire those gryphons who raise out of the ashes and become people who you can consider a “long love”. His life partner is a long love too. Maybe because we share the love for all their kids, maybe because she loves him and that is a gift to me, or maybe because we are so similar that I project a “Little love of self “ on to her.
I know you’ve been surprised when you find yourself reacting to seeing a long lost friend in an over the top manner. It’s as if the heart remembers the love for them before your mind can catch up.
This is the “long love” theory.
I reunited with a family who employed me nearly 40 years ago this week. There was trepidation, anxiety and excitement all meshed together in the anticipation of the e visit. Yet when we met, after all those years, the heart remembered and only “long love” was between us.
Long love makes it easy to be together. Long love is judgment free. Long love oozes acceptance and forgiveness it forgets life’s emotional road bumps. Long love hugs for real not because it’s expected.
I heard myself counting my blessings for these long loves that exist for me. I have had many folks say they’d be hard pressed to discover these “long love connections” but I challenge that. I believe these connections surprise you. They are lying dormant ready to be sparked back into existence.
here’s to “long loves”… may we have them, may we recognize them, may they surprise us at every turn. Raise your hearts to remembering your champions, your tender friends, your supportive folks who visited your life’s path. May they make your heart race, beam and explode with love the next time you run into them.
Boom! And the building shakes...
The noise was so loud I was awakened from a deep sleep to find myself standing in a Minnesota hotel room worrying about my dogs. For a second I lost my bearings. Where am I?
I thought someone ran into the parked cars in the hotel parking lot with a Mac truck. Our room is on the ground floor.
Mark was more shocked by my reaction then to the middle of the night awakening. “What was that?” I asked. “Thunder”. He stated without hesitation or drama. “Are you kidding me?” I asked. “It felt like it was in our room.”
We are in the heartland. Everything rolls nearer the earth. Even the heart pumping make you jump out of bed thunder!
I’m listening to the rhythmic ticks of multiple clocks as they pound out time in the darkness. One clock in the living room has a sound like a stick hitting another stick, another sounds like metal on metal and another let’s the world know it’s working by its deep soulful strikes.