Joey sat in his chair as his new little pets scurried around. Well at least, he wasn't alone now. He smiled as he saw their tiny heads and got up to see them. He picked up the little chick and petted it with his little finger.
"Don't worry you've got me." he said . "I am gonna take care of you." It was so quiet , no baby crying and no arguments from the other tenant and the father of her child. He looked over at the now destroyed foosball table. What he wouldn't give for noise. He hated silence.
Joey had never lived alone. Even when he tried it, he still ended up coming back to his best friend. When Chandler moved in with Monica, he found Janine. Try as he might, Janine and him would have not have worked , because Janine did not like his friends. After Janine , Rachel moved in…
Rachel, she was so sweet and pretty and most of all she was fun. She could throw paper towels at the wall and be so happy. She would read her erotic books and Joey would tease her. Joey eventually grew to love her, but he knew that would never work. Even though he loved her , he made the supreme sacrifice, he suggested she move in with Ross since he was the baby's father. Deep down in his heart he knew, this would bring them together .
Now he was alone. When Heckles' died, he remembered Chandler saying he would die alone. Here he was 35 and alone. Packing a bag, he went to Queens. His mama would make him feel good.
Gloria Tribbiani stood by her stove. It made her so happy to cook for her only son. Her seven daughters were usually watching their weight and Nonni was long gone. Joey Sr. and Joey Jr. were the only ones who usually ate her cooking.
Food had always been his refuge. Food and sex that is. Joey sat contently sucking up a plate of his mother's spaghetti. He had Monica's lasagna's at home, but this is what he needed right now.
"More spaghetti, baby." Gloria said as he nodded with a noodle in his mouth. "It's so nice to have you come visit.
"Where's Dad tonight?" Joey asked off handedly knowing the answer.
"At Ronni's." she said as she went back to the stove. "Made you some lasagna. Grandma's recipe."
Joey looked over at his mother. He knew she wasn't happy about it , but it was something she had to deal with. He continued eating until his mother pulled up a chair and sat down. She rarely got to see her Joey and enjoyed this visit.
"I know it's hard baby, but that 's what happens when people grow up. They get married . They move away. I expected this to have happened a lot sooner." Gloria said as she put her hand on his.
"But it wasn't just that. Phoebe got married and she has Mike. Now Chandler and Monica have babies and they move away. I was still getting used to Rachel leaving and then she comes back." Joey said as he stuffed a piece of garlic bread in his mouth.
"Rachel , that was the girl you liked. " smiled Gloria. "But Joey did you really want to break up that family ? You weren't brought up like that." she said as she batted him with her ring in the back of his head. "You got that from that crumb of a father."
"Mah, hold it!" cried Joey. "I did not break anybody up. They just got back together for the first time in three years. He even gave me his blessing for us to be together. May I remind you I found him kissing my ex not one hour after we broke up."
"You mean the dinosaur doctor?" asked Gloria. "The girl?"
"They are called paleontologists , Mah." corrected Joey.
"My boy is so smart, where did you ever learn that.?You are as smart as my grandson , Michael." Gloria smiled with glee as she cupped Joey's chin.
"My friend Ross is one , that 's how I knew what it was. Charlie was one too and that's why we didn't get along. She was too smart for me. Who knows, maybe that's why Rachel and I wouldn't have worked, she was used to this real smart guy." Joey reasoned.
"She would have been lucky to have you." Gloria said. "Have you thought about what you are going to do now?"
"I still have a job mah. Days of our Lives didn't get married or move away." Joey said.
"Yeah but did you ever think of California? You know Hollywood and the movies? You did that one movie , that World War I one, " Gloria said as she ladled meatballs onto Joey's plate.
"Over There." Joey said with pride. He had good memories of that movie . It was during the filming that he married his best friends Chandler and Monica. He had to stifle a laugh as he remembered Chandler sleeping at the preview.
"My boy is talented and gorgeous. You are too good for New York and the stage. The movies is where you need to be. " Gloria said as she got up from the chair. She went over and picked up the phone. She had something on her mind and she wasn't going to be happy until it was finished.
"Gina, it's mah. I'm fine. Say Gina , how would you like to see your brother? Well you know how he's the big soap star. I was telling him he should try his luck in movies." Gloria nodded. "Thanks hon and give that genius grandson a kiss for me."
Gloria turned to Joey. "It's all set. You can stay with Gina. Joey, life has to go on." she said as she wrapped her arms around her son.
All the leaves were brown
And the sky was gray
I got down on my knees
And I began to pray
I'll be safe and warm
If I was in LA
On such a winters day
Joey walked into the sunshine and put on his glasses. He just kept staring into the sun. It seemed to draw him toward it. This wasn't just a whim , it was destiny calling.
"When he got home , he walked into the building. He looked at the door with the number 20 on it. He walked over to it and brushed his hand on the number and then shed a tear in private. Then he walked over to the former foosball table and picked up the tiny Chick Jr. The tiny peep made a squeaky noise as he walked to the other bedroom.
You could never tell that someone lived here except for a few remnants left over. The crib had already been moved across the street but there was a pink baby sock on the floor. Joey picked it up and wiped his face with it.
Hugsy was still there for him . He would never leave him. Rachel would be his friend ,but never anything more. She had never lost him and the vision that Ross told Joey about him in bed and a wife and children would come to be. Now it was time for Joey to have his own dream….stardom.