Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Mystery of the Gay Meatloaf

My dearest friend in this lifetime was gay. He did not come out of the closet until he was well into his thirties. It was a traumatic and heroic action on his part. He kept his secret so well hidden that I, his best friend, did not suspect. But, at long last, he was out, and the profound change this brought to my friend was a great thing to see. He was happier than I had ever seen him, and I had known him a long time, since high school. Even better, he soon found true love.

My friend and his partner invited my family to Sunday afternoon dinner at their restored farmhouse. It was an important step for my dear friend, and I wanted the entire afternoon to go perfectly for him. My brother happened to be visiting that weekend so he accompanied my husband, my daughter and me on the trip for Sunday afternoon dinner.

We had a wonderful afternoon, admiring all of the considerable remodeling and decorating the two men had accomplished in their home - refinished wood floors, restored french doors, excellent choices in artwork, house plants, fabrics, antique furniture. Their home was beautiful and comfortable. The dinner was a sumptuous feast served on a lovely old restored dining table set with heavy silverware and fresh flowers. It was heartwarming to see my friend so happy, lonely no longer, with someone to share his life and building such a beautiful home together.

When it came time to sit down to the meal, there was a tiny problem. They were serving meatloaf. I absolutely hated meatloaf and never ate it, not even my own mother's meatloaf. I was not about to let a detail like that put any sort of negativity on my friend's day, so I ate the meatloaf and said not a word. My brother and my husband had seconds. My little girl ate a big helping of it, too. It must have been delicious.

We passed the rest of the afternoon in good cheer and took our leave fairly late. It was over fifty miles to our house. It was the end of a long Sunday on a long weekend and we were all tired. We went to bed shortly after we arrived home.

My little girl was the first one to be sick. I heard her little feet running down the hall and got up to check on her. As soon as she was settled and I had returned to bed, it hit me. I ran down the hall to be sick. Goodbye, meatloaf! Of course, everyone in the entire house could hear the commotion of people running down the hall. As I returned shakily to bed, my little brother said something smart-assed from the sofa. I did not hear exactly what he said but I caught the drift. It was just a few minutes later when I heard him running down the hall, and that made me laugh. When I heard him returning to the sofa, I called out, "How instant is that karma?"

Only my brother, my daughter and myself were ill and we felt fine the next morning. I, of course, blamed the meatloaf. Since no one gay who ate the meatloaf became ill, that forever put my husband under a cloud of suspicion. He ate two big helpings of the meatloaf and was never sick. I teased him with great delight about that for a long time.

Amazingly enough, after that, I was able to eat meatloaf and I have enjoyed it since. I had some last night at a fine restaurant in Manhattan, Kansas. Of course, I can never enjoy meatloaf without remembering my best friend and the mystery of the gay meatloaf.

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