Sunday, June 17, 2007

Charlotte and Back

Tosha's wedding was beautiful, the reception was gorgeous and was complete with a white Bentley to transport the young bride and groom between the church and the hotel. Tosha and Morris are doing big things of their own, of course, but I would guess that the Bentley might have been courtesy of her older brother, who was a first-round draft pick from Chapel Hill to the NBA. I'm not really into cars, but that was a mighty fine vehicle to see up close. Like Kat Williams says, "The Chrysler 300 looks like a Phantom ... until a Phantom pulls up."

After the reception and wishing the newly weds all the best on their honeymoon in Italy and beyond (if you were going to place a bet on couples who will go the distance, put your tokens on Morris and Tosha), Monique and I met Ana in downtown Charlotte at a going-away party for the Bobcats' assistant coach, who will be joining the Timberwolves staff. Throughout the night, we met up with - and randomly ran into - some old college buddies, which was like an after-party continuation of the semi-Western reunion at Tosha's wedding.

One guy I hadn't seen in years asked me where I was now, and I pointed to a framed black-and-white photo of lower Manhattan on the wall of Phil's Tavern and yelled over the music, "I live there!"

And I'm back there tonight after a 5:20 p.m. flight to La Guardia. As I hugged Monique and Ana at the curbside drop-off at the Charlotte-Douglass International Airport, I feigned crying and sobbed, "I don't want to go back to New York!"

We all knew that wasn't true, but I know I didn't want to leave my girls. I've made some good friends in New York, but there is something about those friendships that you are lucky enough to create, which you know will be lifelong and remind you that water can be just as thick as blood.

To add further insult to injury (regarding the missed Friday evening flight), I realized just before the plane bumped onto the runway at La Guardia that I could see my apartment building outlined by the reflection of the sun on the Hudson River.

We descended the stairs of the small connector jet and boarded the shuttle bus to take us to the gate, and I sat next to an older (not old) couple, who would later tell me that they live on Long Island. I looked over my shoulder and took a camera phone photo of a gorgeous sunset over Manhattan, and then said to the woman, "It's amazing. I can see my apartment building from here, and it'll take me an hour to get there."

"Gotta love it," she replied jokingly. Then she smiled and said, "But where else would you rather live?"

I smiled back, "No where."

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