Alex and I are sitting barside in the hotel lobby, sipping matching double espresso martinis. I pose the question: “If you could hang out with any three people alive today who would they be?” I ask because I’m curious. I figure that between us, at least one answer will overlap and I figure it will probably be Blake Griffin. I tell him so but he glances quizzically at me and takes a long sip from his glass.
“I’d like to work with Christopher Nolan,” he says, ” and I don’t want to meet him until we are collaborating on a feature film together.” Alex’s ambition is showing and, as is so often the case, attempts to define the terms of our conversation. I clarify, “What I mean is, if you could, like chill with someone you admire, do anything with them for let’s say a whole day, who would it be and what would you do?” I give him an example of one of mine to get us on the right track: Anthony Bourdain, food god. I explain at length the culinary escapade I’ve been piecing together in my mind for the past year and a half. The sumptuous food and drink and conversation about food and drink in some exotic locale. I think Morocco is a good candidate. Tony: recounting his exploits over a tall glass of malt beer, Me: eating with my fingers, convincing him to be my best friend. “You know,” I say to Alex, “that sort of thing babe.”
He gets the Blake comment now and but we’re not quite there yet. “I don’t really get off on meeting famous people,” he says, “what would you even do if you had a day with Blake Griffin?” That’s an easy one. Obviously make him watch all of my favorite funny movies, shoot some hoops and eat fried chicken. “Okay, okay,” he says, nodding his head and scratching his beard thoughtfully. Alex thinks for a moment more in silence.
I turn my head to the bar and watch a Korean businessman in suit and tie swirl his glass of whiskey and down it in one sip. The attentive bartender registers his subtle nod and replaces the empty with a new glass. Otherwise the bar is ours, save for the silent eye of the attendant behind us. I had forgotten she was there.
I return my attention to Alex. He’s gazing over the city, enjoying the last of his drink. I can tell that his mind is elsewhere now, perhaps ruminating on the set list he received from Gil the night before. I reach for his hand. He smiles and looks at me, “that’s a really fun question babe, I need to think about it some more.” And so we make like the Korean businessman and finish the night with whiskey; together, high above the city just he and me.