I didn’t recognize the number with the San Francisco area code, but when I read the text I picked up my phone and dialed it.
Once Eddie grabbed the line, I said, “Does this answer your question? Of course it’s still my number. You in town?”
It had been about three years since I’d seen him last, but Eddie and I go all the way back to high school. When we reconnected a few years after graduating, we were heavy in the party scene. One morning, he laid out a small towel to sunbathe on the asphalt of the parking area in front of my apartment (these were swanky times, when I lived behind the Wienerschnitzel). Aviator glasses on his face, orange speedos protecting his modesty, and a cocktail in one hand, it was then that Eddie earned his nickname: Cabana Boy. The best part of that day was when my sister (my roomie at the time) came home from work to find the oiled-up specimen lounging right in front of our open door.
“I’ve been here all week,” Eddie said. “Tomorrow I’m going to visit Ben and Grace and see their new baby, but tonight I’m open.”
“New baby?” I said. “Good for them.” Then, in a sardonic tone, I added, “Apparently, babies are like tattoos – seems nobody can stop at one. Everyone around me is popping ‘em out, one after the other, it’s like an epidemic.”
I expected him to laugh, but instead, Eddie said, “Um, well, that’s part of why I’m here.”
“Come again?” I racked my brain. Eddie is gay. Last I heard, he was single. But there was a quality in his voice that signaled what he was about to say, and though I needed him to confirm it with words, I already knew.
“Remember my friends, Lindsay and Justina? Well, they’re going to have my baby.”
Fortunately, one of my super powers is the ability to switch gears. I learned this ability from my mother, who could halt herself in the middle of an ear-splitting tirade and answer the phone in a quiet, treacly tone. “Eddie, that’s AWESOME! Congratulations! What? How? Wait, tell me about it later, when you come over. Talk about ‘modern family,’ I love it! I can’t wait to hear more.”
“I know, it’s crazy, right?”
I could hear the excitement in my friend’s voice, and though part of me thought, losing another friend to baby land, the majority of me was full of pride and joy, as these were the emotions that were emanating from Eddie. “From Cabana Boy to Baby Daddy,” I said. “Congratulations. Now get your hot ass over here so I can get the full scoop face to face.”