Bits & pieces, three
I bumped into someone I hadn't seen for a while the other day. He's an acquaintance, I guess, rather than a friend but I've known him a really long time so those things start to blur a bit.
Anyway, I hadn't seen him for long enough to be surprised when he told me had a two-and-a-half year old daughter. (He's not young, either.)
Her name? 'Clemmie,' he said, then added: 'Well, actually it's Chlamydia.' A beat. 'A memory of how her mother and I met.'
For once in my life, I was silent.
Maybe he was telling the truth. Maybe he was joking. I don't know.
I do know this, though. Years ago, he happened to mention he knew De Niro quite well. I didn't believe him, frankly.
Time passed. He called, late one Saturday. 'Bob's in town,' he said. 'Those two attractive young black women friends of yours . . .' Actually, he didn't say that. He used their names but that's private. The rest was true. His meaning was clear. So was Bob's, of course.
What do you mean? What are you thinking? Nothing happened. Of course, it didn't.
Which, in turn, reminds me of a moment at passport control at JFK in New York. I was with my daughter who was then thirteen or so and, in dress-style terms, passing through — there's no polite way to put this — her 2nd Avenue hooker period. A4 skirt. High stack heels. Boob tube top. Chewing pink bubblegum.
'May I have your wife's passport, too, sir,' said the passport official.
'That's not my wife. It's my daughter,' I said. 'What kind of man do you think I am?'
'We get all sorts here, sir,' he said.