QUITE A COUP
SOHO, London "I quit my job and went to Bosnia for lunch," I boast.
"Yeah, well, I was in coup on a Carribean island," my friend a British travel writer responds.
"Damn, you win."
Her natural modesty takes over. "Well, it was a rather small coup, really. And the passengers didn't manage to hijack the plane properly. But then a man had a fatal heart attack in the terminal..."
We stroll through Chinatown, talking shop and alarming eavesdroppers. My friend is a former model as glamorous as she is gorgeous. I watch her admirers pause and ponder: "who's that girl? Should I ask for an autograph? A date? Is she on TV?"
Nah. But she could be, if she weren't such a superb writer.
She buys me a "Mind the Gap" mug as a consolation prize ("Not everyone can be in coup, love. There, there. Stiff upper lip, now.")
As we chatter over dinner, the stress melts away. The customs queue, the bus-ticket debacle, the corked wine, the depleted savings account, the overdue manuscript, the 2.5-day journey home. Petty hassles all, she reminds me.
Most days, I wish the people I love most weren't scattered around the world.
Then again, she's here when I need her.