I wanted to let you know I enjoyed our dinner the other night. Meeting with you again after all this time was difficult, but being back at The Parkway made it much more comfortable. It seems we were destined to begin our relationship, end it there, and finally say goodbye to it one last time.
You were sweet to remember the old wine bit. Red, white, rose... I never could make a decision which to have with our meal. Even when it was The Parkway Diner and I was trying to choose between different a Coke and Pepsi, you were always charming about it. The lasagne was excellent as it always was - there's something about having a favorite dish you haven't eaten in years and it bringing you right back to the old days.
I appreciate the chance to talk about where we came from and where we're going. Things seemed so simple when we were just teenagers - bright futures, cold beer, hot lights, fast cars, adventures. Even when we got married the adventure was still out there just waiting. Eventually, as you well know, reality strikes and adventures conclude. Money got tight, the arguments began... well, no use bringing up the things you remember so well.
I'm sorry if this is going down a strange path - I have no desire to disrupt your new life. I may not have appeared so, but I'm glad you remarried. Nothing makes me happier to know you have a new life, a better job and that your family is still doing well. I always wanted the best for you, Eddie, I really did. My life didn't turn out quite the way yours did, and I think you recognized that.
Thank you for the compliment about my weight. It was at that point I almost gave in last night and told you everything, but I just couldn't. Couldn't at least, till now. I'm thinner than you remember me because of... well, you know cancer has run in my family for years and years - my mom and grandmother both died before they were 45, and now, well, it looks like it's caught up with me.
Don't be angry that I didn't tell you last night. The look in your eyes was so full of contentment and peace I didn't want to spoil it by telling you the real reason I wanted you to meet me. But I couldn't let it go without giving you the truth. It's been going on for a while, and it's been a battle - and now the battle's finally almost over.
Eddie, do you remember the Senior Prom? That night was the first night you really kissed me and told me you loved me - the silly crowns they put on us finally blew off when we left in your convertible, but I didn't care. At that point I could see we would be a part of each other, no matter what. Even if everyone said we were crazy. I know now we weren't, at least not in the ways that mattered.
I'm sorry...I'm not sure what I'm trying to say, or why. Last night was the last time we'll ever see each other, Eddie. Tomorrow morning I fly out to Texas where I'll try one more experimental drug combination, but I don't expect much and neither does my doctor. Not in so many words, but he doesn't believe I'll be coming back. So this is why I decided to write this to you instead of saying it last night when emotion would've overcome the necessary words.
You and I were together for more years overall than I've not been with someone. From our sophomore year in high school, through the good times and bad of young married couple life to the...I suppose inevitable end. We were too alike to stay together, each too much of a free spirit to put away the youth and live like adults. I wonder what would happen if we met each other for the first time today, if it might be the same and yet different. But I can tell you have a very happy future with your new family and I have... well I have whatever the future holds for me.
Together we introduced each other to a joy of living we ultimately couldn't share together. I think after we split up it gave you stability and purpose - I wish I could say the same.
But it's ok. I can still remember how things used to be - the engineer boots, the leather jacket, the jeans. The jukebox in the corner that still has the Johnny Horton song... the damn waterbed.... ha.
I'm about done now, Eddie. Thank you, for showing me the time of my life. Thank you for teaching me how to love lasagne, and red wine, and how to live life. I plan to keep on living it the way we both learned to, right to the end.
Thank you for dinner, Eddie. Take care of yourself, and maybe we'll see each other again someday. Every so often, have a drink for me - a bottle of red, a bottle of white, whatever kind of mood you're in tonight....
I'll meet you any time you want,
In our Italian Restaurant.
Reference here and here
UPDATE: Ok, here's the genesis of this post. At this site are posted a number of "follow-ups" letters about famous songs. For instance, the latest one is a rebuttal to Carly Simon from the object of her song, "You're So Vain," where the guy complains about his rotten treatment in the song. And there are others that are hilarious, so I thought I'd give it a try with one of my own. So I racked my brain for story-type songs and came up with my favorite Billy Joel tune, "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant". Except as I just started writing it, the melancholy nature of the tune took over and it became a (hopefully) serious piece. If there's any interest, I may try again with another song - this time a little more light-hearted. What do you think?