This is a visual approximation of my latest — same look in the eyes, same weird combination of refinement and horsiness. He’s sort of a friend of the family. By “sort of” I mean I might be dating my father’s ex-lover’s son.
My father was in the Service, before he met my mother. While stationed overseas, he made fast friends with a local guy. He dated this friend’s sister. But things didn’t work. She married someone else almost immediately after they broke. And, 9 months later . . . “Der Rosenkavalier” was born.
Der’s family lives in Holland. But he’s of French-Belgian parents. He’s a businessman. He works for his father’s firm. It’s all very . . . boring, except boring is definitely not a word you’d used to describe Der himself.
Der’s mother asked her brother to ask my father to send me to meet him at the airport and make sure he got settled okay. It’s weird being in a strange city. I get that. It’s good to have someone you can call, someone to show you around and tell you the skinny.
I really did not expect to be much more than Der’s “in case of emergency” contact. But, we bonded immediately — mutual love of Le Tour.
He landed in the wee hours. After a few formalities, we went to his hotel, where he asked the desk clerk, “How can I find the Tour?”
I knew what he meant. What station did he want to tune into? But the hotel didn’t carry that station. That’s right, free porn but no Tour de France!
I explained to him that he could get the Tour on his laptop, for a small fee, while in the US. He wasn’t best pleased. So we dropped his bags and I took him to a cyclist’s cafe I know. During July, it opens when the TDF Live show starts.
We had breakfast, with various cyclists, and watched on a giant flat screen as the Australian team, Orica-GreenEDGE, redeemed themselves from the Day 1 stuck bus fiasco. After that I left him at his hotel.
He arrived unexpectedly at our 4th of July block party, with champange. “After all, the French did help the Americans win their independence.”
And then there were fireworks!