My three dads

Somewhere amidst the doom and gloom I have found this small pocket of internal happiness. Maybe it’s just that feeling that no matter what everything is going to be okay.

Yesterday, I had lunch with my cousin. We went, as we did last year for my birthday, to Pinot Bistro. In many ways it felt like we were in the restaurant scene of a movie- the large flower arrangements, the crisp white tablecloths, the dark wood paneling and the mirrors along the wall. Two different sets of posh ladies ate to our sides. The older set had burgers, the younger one salads. An elegant older woman sat at one end of the restaurant only to find out, after waiting for awhile, that her lunch date, a dapper senior, was waiting for her tucked away at another table.

I always enjoy lunch with my cousin immensely. In this crazy, twisty life I have been blessed with three men who have treated me like their daughter. The first, my real dad-a man whose company and conversation I very much enjoy. My stepdad who was one of my number one champions and whose joyful voice when answering the phone I dearly miss. My cousin has been the third.

My cousin has lived in LA all of my life and I only saw him once or twice growing up. He and my mom grew up in adjoining houses and she always told me stories about them growing up but I never really knew him before I moved here. I spent two years living at his house. Those two years were really lovely and healing for me. I moved here from NY a year after September 11th and there was this sweet, overwhelming feeling of being tucked away while I lived with him. He is the man who always asks about my tires and the breaks in my car. He is the man who put locks in the window of my old Hollywood apartment.

Today at lunch he said- I think you are going to end up leaving LA. I never thought you would because the man you love was here but if that ends you may leave. I wont lie that thought has popped in my head a lot lately. Would I go home? What would I do there? Open a bakery with my dad? Or would I go back to NY. Maybe I would just stay put.

The thought of not seeing my cousin regularly for lunch made me very sad. I very much enjoy talking about our family and about books and films with him. His dad and my grandma where brother and sister. Since my grandmother passed away earlier this year no one is left of that generation. My grandmother was a feisty woman with an incessant joie de vie. I know I have her spirit of perseverance and that is perhaps what is inside that pocket of happiness.