|Cary Grant's best movie. Deborah Kerr was always my favorite Old Hollywood movie actress.|
Leaving the Civic Opera House with our spirits soaring, Tiffany insisted that I allow her to buy me a drink at The Four Seasons. I then showed Tiffany how a crafty old pro hails a cab outside the Civic Opera House post performance: "This way Tiffany, we'll let those schmucks queue up in an orderly fashion but ol' GSL has a beautiful woman on his arm and a whistle to whet". We crossed Wacker Drive, high-stepped 1 block North to Washington, and caught a cab who had just dropped a fare off at Northwestern Station and button-hooked back towards the Loop....in a pattern only crafty old pros know about. When cabbies see GSL with his drinking shoes laced up, his powerful right arm held aloft, and his 'I don't do cabstand queue' snarl, they run stoplights and barrel towards the curb as they know a bone with some meat on it will soon be thrown their way. It was.
|Statue outside Four Seasons Hotel just off Michigan Avenue|
Tiffany and I finally had a chance to continue a conversation we began over 4 years prior. She was eager to know what my plans were now that I was liberated. She suggested I write a book about my Army experiences and confessed to having forwarded my email dispatches from Iraq to several of her friends and family who were now 'big fans'. Her father was a well-connected Republican in Arizona & California and said I should run for Congress. I thanked her for that vote of confidence and said The Good Doctor's father wanted to arrange for a book deal and put the word out to his network to help make it a success. I told her that I couldn't write that book now as I wanted to run as far away from that life as possible and wasn't mentally capable of putting the several months of intense focus needed to do the book right. Also, I wanted the book to be impactful, not just bring me 15 minutes of fame as a novelty who joined the Army later in life. I told Tiffany I will eventually write that book that will change how the Army conducts its business as my influence will dramatically increase in a few years and I won't write a book like that for money and I'll donate all proceeds to a fund I'll start to honor my grandparents. The email dispatches from Iraq were intended to ricochet into the White House and Pentagon and across the political spectrum and did. I received confirmation from the daughter of a prominent General who happened to be an officer in my Battalion as her inquiries confirmed that my dispatches were forwarded from the civilian recipients to Washington and cascaded down the chain of command sometimes in less than 2 days. As for a career in politics, I told Tiffany that I'm far too volatile and didn't have the resume.
Tiffany and I walked to her Gold Coast high rise from the Four Seasons and then that moment came where you either say goodnight...or a motion is made for the evening to continue. We were standing outside her door, I could see Clarence keeping a respectful distance and my mind was racing on how to proceed. Two women's presence then intruded. The first one was actually hovering over the entire evening as I had become "semi-betrothed" to her while home on leave from Iraq. Tiffany was halfway around the world on a trip with her family and I then assumed her interest in me wasn't romantic in nature. This 3rd party was the very same woman from the Saddle & Cycle Club gala who put me on backburner status much to my relief. My 16 days of leave were an emotional roller coaster and I was then in the practice of being terribly gallant and telling a nice woman in her late 30s with no bright prospects on the horizon and a biological clock ticking like Big Ben at midnight that "why don't we consider getting married after I get back from Iraq" just seemed so terribly gallant I couldn't resist. The semi-betrothed also happened to be a close friend of Tiffany's and let's just say the impression Tiffany was being given regarding my status with the once semi-betrothed was not how I would have described it....which I only found out several months later. The other woman's presence that intruded on the scene was my mother's as Tiffany bore such a strong resemblance to my mother physically (although my mother is only 5'4" to Tiffany's 5'10") and in demeanor. The mother issue preempted any inclination to cleverly inquire: "I need to see if your pup Murray followed orders and made a meal out of those FLATS".
The very best night of my life came to a close just outside her lobby entrance as I wondered if the semi-betrothed was watching us from her balcony a block away...