|Early picture of the 2 of us, Eddie & Ed, in 2003.|
I set out for lunch that day thinking I had plenty of time. However, I soon learned that parking is a bitch downtown. (And it still is.) I am now walking double time from the parking lot to the restaurant in order to get there in time. I don’t want to be late. I don’t want Eddie to think I was one of those flaky people that are never on time or worse that I wasn’t going to show.
We didn’t know what each other looked like at this point. All our writing back and forth was with email. In the early years of 2000, most people didn’t have digital pictures to exchange. Camera phones would not be popular for a couple more years. All I knew of his appearance was that he was tall and trim. I told him I would be wearing a plaid shirt and glasses.
We went inside and got a table in the back. We ordered sandwiches off the menu and proceeded to talk for over an hour. I became totally enchanted by this man. My stomach was tense. I had goosebumps on the back of my arms. The little voice in my head was chanting, “don’t screw this up; don’t screw this up; don’t screw this up.”
We talked of our passion of theatre. I had worked as a theatre arts administrator for almost 20 years. He had recently finished a term as the board chair of a major regional theatre company. We had a lot of mutual interest in the arts.
After lunch we continued our meeting at his office. I was totally blown away by this guy. He was everything I was looking for in a best friend and lover. Our first meeting was followed up with lots of back and forth emails. We started running together at lunch and doing bike rides on the weekends. At the end of four months we came out together, left our wives and moved in together. A whole new chapter of lives opened up.