Denny and Adrian
Alan walked into Denny's office the next morning without knocking on the door first. He opened and then closed his mouth when he noticed Denny's eyes were shut and he was breathing evenly; the man was asleep behind his desk. That had been happening with more and more frequency. Alan was grateful at least that Denny's eyes were closed; he had to admit that seeing Denny seemingly in a trance with his eyes open was unnerving. He turned around to leave and heard Denny grunt out, "Hey."
He turned back around. "Hey, yourself," he replied as he walked in and sat in one of the chairs in front of the older man's desk. "I just wanted to remind you that my son, Adrian, is taking us to dinner tonight. He wants to go to Legal Seafood since he's never been. Is that good for you?"
Denny glared and said, "I should feel insulted that you said 'my son' to clarify who you meant but, after the way I embarrassed myself last night, I guess I can't really say too much. I do appreciate how you took responsibility for my memory lapse. Thank you."
Alan leaned forward. "Denny, I didn't…"
He was cut off by Denny waving his hand dismissively and interjecting, "Alan, it's one thing for me to lie to myself about my 'Mad Cow.' It's one thing for you to lie to me about my 'Mad Cow.' It is quite another thing for you to lie to me about my 'Mad Cow' when I know you're lying to me."
Alan shrugged, "Fine, it was a 'Mad Cow' moment. You are having dinner with us tonight, aren't you? I told Adrian we're engaged. He took it surprisingly well; he is being supportive of whatever I decide to do even though it did take him aback." I have to be in court at ten and I'll be there all day. I told him we would be free for dinner at six; that will give us time for a cigar before we go, alright?"
"Yes, yes, that's fine." Denny waved as Alan headed to the door, "I'll see you later. Kick ass in court." Denny sighed as he reached for his copy of Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly magazine. leaned back in his chair and made a great show of placing it on his lap for anyone walking by to see. He knew no one would come into his office to interrupt him unless it was extremely urgent because they would see that he was doing legal research when what he was actually doing was admiring the women in the latest issue of Big Breasted Babes which he had tucked into the other, more respectable magazine.
Between "reading the articles" in BBB and dozing, he almost didn't answer his intercom when it buzzed. When Mandy, his assistant, buzzed the second time, he picked up reluctantly. "Yes?" his tone made it clear that he was busy and annoyed to be disturbed.
"I'm sorry, Denny but, the caller said his name is Dr. Adrian Anderson and it's important that he speak with you. I'll tell him you're in a meeting…"
Denny cut her off, "No, no," he said, "I'll talk to him. Thanks, Mandy." He clicked over to his line. "Denny Crane."
"Hello, Denny. Do you have any plans for lunch?"
I am never going to get over how much he sounds like Alan! "No, Adrian, I don't. Is that an invitation?" he asked. He heard a soft chuckle come through the phone.
"Yes, Denny, I want to have lunch with you, if I may. I'd like to have a conversation with you, just the two of us. Is that OK with you? You pick the place and I'll meet you."
Denny thought for a few seconds and replied, "Meet me at the Cognac Bistro. The address is 455 Harvard Street. One o'clock good for you?"
"Yes, absolutely. See you then!"
Denny's chauffeur, Dave, dropped him in front of the restaurant promptly at one o'clock. He walked in and spied Adrian already seated sipping a beer at a booth toward the rear of the restaurant. He walked over and joined him. He caught the eye of the waiter and ordered a beer.
"So," he began, "It was a surprise when you called. What's on your mind?"
The young man who looked so much like Alan in so many ways cleared his throat and answered, "Alan told me you two are engaged so, I guess that as his only living relative, it's my duty to make sure he's making a good decision." He laughed. "Seriously, Denny, I just want him to be happy. Your…condition concerns me. I mean, the effect it will have on Alan will be profound, to say the least. He's told me why he wants to marry you. I wanted to ask you without him present: Why him? Why not a woman? Why not some other guy? Why him?"
Denny's drink had arrived and he took a long swig. "Well, like I've told him; for good or bad, he's the man I love. But even more importantly, I trust him. I trust him with my life and I trust him with my death. You're a gerontologist, Adrian, you understand the physical results of an Alzheimer's diagnosis but, do you understand the emotional toll it takes? Alan does; he's done his homework and he's searched his heart and he's told me he can handle it and I believe him, now. I didn't always, you know."
Adrian leaned in closer. "I really don't know, Denny. Tell me."
Denny signaled the waiter to bring two more beers. "Well, one night I stayed at your father's place and woke up confused. I didn't know where I was and I didn't recognize Alan. The whole episode scared me and convinced me that the best thing I could do for Alan was leave town and not come back. When I told him of my plan, he told me in no uncertain terms that he wouldn't allow our friendship to end that way, that he would find me and bring me home. He convinced me that he is fully aware of what lies ahead for me physically and mentally and that he is prepared to deal with it with me. He loves me, Adrian. He's standing by me. I thank God everyday that I have a friend like him. I honestly believe that if we were friends and I was flat broke, he would feel the same way and do exactly what he's doing now. I cherish him. How could I not?"
Adrian had listened with his chin in his hands and his elbows on the table. When Denny finished speaking, Adrian sat back and said, "I don't envy your circumstances but, I do envy your friendship. I hope I have someone in my life one day who will mean as much to me as you do to Alan and vice – versa. May I ask you a question?" When Denny nodded, Adrian cleared his throat and said, "Alan told me that my bio – mom, Adrienne knows all about your engagement. Is that true?"
Denny nodded again. "Yes, it is."
Adrian felt emboldened. "He also told me that the two of them had reached a new understanding regarding their relationship. Are you aware of that?"
"I am. The three of us talked and it was agreed that when it…when it gets to be my time, Adrienne will come and help Alan with things. You know she's been a bounty hunter for years and Alan has hated it. I think she would stay and retire if Alan asks her to but, she doesn't want it to look like she's staying for the money he'll inherit. I think I convinced her that neither one of us would think that. None of us gives a rat's ass what anyone else would think about it."
Adrian smiled and said, "This may sound odd but, ever since my parents told me about Adrienne and Alan, I've felt like they really love each other and always have but, circumstances have kept them apart for most of their lives. No offense but, if they ended up together I think I could live with that."
Denny shrugged and said, "I agree. If they turn out to be endgame, we all will be happy. Let's order lunch, I'm starving."
Denny was already on the balcony smoking his cigar and nursing a glass of scotch when Alan joined him. Alan snipped off the end of his stogie and took great pleasure in puffing on it to get it properly lit. When he had done so, he leaned his head back on his recliner and sighed contentedly. "So, how was your day, Denny?"
Denny blew smoke up into the air and said, "Wonderful. I had lunch with Adrian. He wanted to know if my intentions were good."
At the mention of his son's name, Alan had turned to face Denny to give him his complete attention. "Oh? And is Adrian convinced my virtue will be protected?"
"He is. He can tell you all about it at dinner tonight. The two of you have dinner tonight, no arguments; Adrian and I already agreed to this. He's a good kid; a wonderful young man. The three of us will have lunch together before he heads back to Albany. I'm going to stay in my condo tonight. Come by after dinner?"
"Sure, Denny. I'm so glad you two get along. We'll watch a movie when I get to the condo."
Alan finished his drink and cigar, bid Denny goodbye and headed to the elevator bank. I am a lucky, lucky man, he thought, my life is good.
Denny lingered over his drink while he looked out over the Boston skyline. Everything will work out for the best; I do love it when a plan comes together.