Today I got a call from Karen Robbins, the girl I am still very deeply in love with and probably will be for the rest of my life. I was driving north on I-95, and traffic was unusually thick and congested. So it made my day a whole lot brighter when I heard the cell phone ring and saw her name pop up.
"Hey you driving fool, what's up?" she said with a bounce in her voice.
"My blood pressure, it always shoots skyward when my heart skips a beat. When I hear from the girl of my dreams."
"Cut it out, knucklehead."
"How are things in Indianapolis?"
"That's why I'm calling you. There's been a big change in my life."
"Tell me more."
"I'm closing the Cafe here. Cheryl and I are quits, and we won't be living together or working together. Well, obviously."
"Obviously," I said, with relish and glee.
"I can hear you smiling on the other end of the phone, Bill."
"No, no, I'm sorry to hear the bad news."
"Yeah, I just bet you are." She laughed. "This doesn't mean I'm going to be rushing into your arms now."
"What does it mean? Seriously, what happened between you two crazy kids in love?"
"It's a long story, and I'll tell you all about it next time I see you."
"OK, so what are you going to do?"
"I'm moving, and I'm going to open my very own little place. All natural, healthy food."
"Healthy but delicious," I said.
"Of course delicious. And natural."
"Naturally. So where is it?"
"Richmond, Virginia. I found an existing place there I can buy."
I got chill bumps. "No way!"
"You won't believe this, but I'm on my way to Richmond to deliver a car right now."
"I drive up and down the east coast now more than any other route I deliver."
"I know that."
"I'm up and down I-95 almost every single week nowadays."
"I know that, too."
"Karen, I'll see you all the time."
"Yes, that did cross my mind."
I began to feel a little bit cocky. "So, you want the chance to see me more often."
"Calm down, loverboy. The fact is that you are one of my closest friends in the world, and I miss you tons. You are my touchstone, my confidante, and someone I always know I can lean on."
"No 'and', Romeo. I'm gay, remember?"
I cleared my throat. "Yes, I know. But I also know that I had the most passionate sex of my life with you."
"That was years ago. Besides, I just got out of this long term relationship with Cheryl. It ended badly. The last thing I want to think about right now is getting involved with anyone. Right now what I need more than anything is a friend."
I chewed on my tongue for a moment, deep in thought. "And you've got one, right here. I'll be there for you."
"I know you will. This is gonna be fun, we'll see each other all the time, and you can tell me in person about the adventures on the road that I've been reading about in your Blogs. And I'll feed you and make sure you eat healthy."
"And hugs and kisses?"
"Lots of hugs, maybe a peck on the cheek."
"Maybe I'll goose you every now and then."
"Oh baby, talk dirty to me!"
"Shut up. Listen, I gotta go, but I just wanted to share this news with you. You are the first person I've told. I'll be seeing you real soon." She paused. "Hey, Bill?"
"I am so glad that I have a friend like you." I could swear I heard her voice crack. "I really do love you, you know that?"
"I know that. And I love you, too. Forever. Always. Deeply. Passionately."
"OK, that's enough of that crap. See ya." She hung up.
I drove the rest of the way to Richmond feeling mighty fine. This sounded like a new turn of events in the life of a driving fool.