I met up with Oani and her beau Dean at the Crocodile Cafe. We'd missed the opening act, but Oani said Johnny Sonic sucked anyway. The show wasn't sold out, but it was freakin' packed!
I got a couple of beers and tequila shot while Stu was parking the car. I handed him one as he came in and we left our coats with Oan (she's still recovering from a torn Achilles Tendon and was sitting with friends at a table near the door) and headed into the crowd.
The Cherry Poppin' Daddies came on soon after... the drummer and two of the horn players were new and everyone else looked looked just a little older. 'Cause we are!
Dana's rockin' a shaved head and Steve's got a bald patch in the back. There were a lot of kids in swing gear and during the show some dancing broke out.
They ripped through a set that was pretty evenly split between all of their records. The band wasn't as tight as they were back in the day. (I saw my first CPD show in 1990!) They didn't play a lot of my favorites play but with an encore there was about an hour and half of music. I hadn't seen the band in several years, probably since '97 or so and I thought they were finished, so I was quite happy!
I bought a replacement copy of Rapid City Muscle Car and said 'hello' to Steve and Dana. They were gracious enough to pretend they remembered me.
We were out of there by 12:30 or so...it was a great night.
But what happened after was even better.
I had $5 left and I was hungry, so I insisted we go to Dick's. I'm usually flexible on food, but it was almost like I was being compelled to go. We showed up and got some grub and as we were sitting in the car, some people crossed in front of us. Coworkers from my PDI days, Dave C. and his girlfriend Gretchen! I pointed at them and they waved and got in their car to eat. Then some more people crossed in front of the car. One of them was a buxom blond.
We finished our grub and Stu took our trash to the garbage can. But as Stu was getting back in the car, I looked up and the buxom blond was staring down through the window at me, mouth agape.
It was Heather.
I met Heather in 1988, when she was 19. We got to be pretty close friends, both in and out of work. She left the company before I did, but we kept in touch through the years, seeing each other every great once-in-awhile until about 1997, when she moved and changed her number.
I got out of the car and we hugged hard. I was so flabbergasted, all I could do was laugh for joy!
I'd been thinking about her for years! I'd done online searches for her, even procured an address at one time, but didn't do anything about it 'cause I didn't want to skeeve her out.
I'd even given serious thought to hiring a private eye to find her...and just like that, there she was! I couldn't believe my eyes!
She'd been out drinking and dancing with her friends and she had to go, but she gave me her number and made me promise to call her the next day. She also told me that she could be found on MySpace...I informed that I could be too! Heather looked pretty much the same. She told me that she'd been married and divorced and that she'd had a second child.
So I got home last night and started looking for her online. I did a search via MySpace and found out that there were 201 Heathers within 50 miles of my house. I remembered that my Heather is a few years younger than me...so I started skipping all those under 35, though I did have to check anyone who put '99 years old' in the age bracket.
I spent about a hour looking and about 180 profiles in, I found hers. Wow...that close.
I went to bed and hoped she was serious when she said she wanted to meet the next day.
Around noon, I called her. She was really excited to hear from me, though she was hungover! She wanted to meet at 2, so I blew off everyone else and she picked me up at the Pike Place Market. We were both hungry, so I suggested the Twilight Exit.
I'd been contemplating what I'd do when we got together...I was a bit nervous, but it was a little surreal too. Over the last couple of weeks, I've been questioning myself, my life and what I'm doing with it, while wondering where the next 20 years would find me...and if I'd be OK with that. And the Daddies show had touched off a wave of nostalgia as well. But I've felt compelled to do certain things lately and I'm trying hard not to let moments of self-doubt undermine me.
So we ordered bacon cheeseburgers and got caught up. She told me the harrowing details of her marriage and and divorce. She says she's a stronger and more confident person now and she LOVES her daughter...so in a way, it was worth it. I told her about some of the things I'd done over the last nine years. We kept an eye on the Seahawks vs. Giants game.
After awhile, she suggested we go somewhere else. So we drove down to the Arboretum and found a nice quiet spot to sit and talk and watch the ducks swim by. She told me about her kids and we discussed people and events I had not thought of in years. It was like we'd just picked up where we left off. She still has the ability to surprise me with the things she says.
We were both a little weirded out by our reunion...she'd posted a bit on nostalgia on her MS page recently. She said that she'd been surrounding herself with strong women in the wake of the divorce, but felt she needed male friends in her life again...because she didn't want to become bitter. No sooner than she'd voiced that to her aunt, a guy she used to work with had gotten in touch with her.
And then she ran into me!
Around 6PM, she brought me home, I gave her the tour of the 'stead and introduced her to Jason.
We hugged and promised to never lose track of each other again. She added me on MySpace and...I guess we'll see what happens next.
I've been grinning (even more than usual) all day.
What other great mystery will be solved?