1996 started off great as I was working but more important I was going to have my 15th Leap Year Birthday on February 29th, which kept me going through January. A few times the waitress who worked the graveyard shift didn’t show so I had to work a double shift. On the 5th a policeman was shot outside the restaurant and traffic was cut off for blocks all around 17th Street and Federal Highway which meant there was no business and we were stuck in the place. On the 11th I had to get new glasses and I charged the $188, but it was okay because I was working. On the 16th I went to see “The Inspector Calls” at the Parker Playhouse after dinner at the Park Café with David, charged it all of course but I was working. I was going to the movies every week seeing “Heat”, “Dead Man Walking”, “Mr. Holland’s Opus” and “Sense and Sensibility” and I was paying cash! Then I got hit with 2things, the first being that Todd’s was going to close and become a Denny’s which I definitely didn’t want to work at and I needed a new top for my car. On February 6 I was out of a job which was okay as I needed time to plan for my Leap year party. I had paid off my debts and had saved $5,377.93 which included a tax refund so I was in good shape and decided to take the rest of the month off before I went job hunting. I was sending out 3 manuscripts plus a play script that I sent to the Glines Theatre group. It was time to start celebrating my birthday.
I don’t know/remember who Mark was but he figured quite prominently in the doings for my 15th birthday. He and I went for lunch at Mango’s, which by the way is still in business and had dinner at Lester’s, also still open. The next day we went to the Bimini Boatyard for lunch and, this is getting weird, it is still open. On Wednesday, the 21st, Bob, Jim, Juan, Gino, Mark and I went to see “Love, Valour and Compassion” at the Caldwell Playhouse, now closed, and dinner at the Firehouse, yes, also closed. On the 23rd Mark and I went to Carlos & Pepe’s for dinner, still open, and we went to see “Before and After” a good movie but Streep still leaves me cold--I don’t remember the movie at all! On Monday I went down to the ZanZbar restaurant to make reservations and plans for my birthday party.
The invitation was headed "DEATH BY DESSERT" to be held at the ZanZbar restaurant specializing in African food and desserts. There were 5 of us--Nancy, Jim, Bob, Gino, myself--and 16 desserts. Each dessert was homemade and had a hand carved chocolate animal on the top and each was better than the other--I know as I tasted each! It is now closed!
Looking at my notes I see that I wrote about Mark: “Possibility of Mark as a ‘companion’ but sex not that good and he doesn’t have a job or money either!” There were mentions of him, and a Miles, during the month of March but then both disappeared.
I had been going to Carlos and Pepe’s for years not to mention always liking Mexican food but really had no idea about the different tortillas or burritos. On March 24th, a Sunday, I started at “Who Song & Larry’s” which turned out to be an interesting job!