Don’t Miss This, and What They Said

Two nights in a row I was in one of my favorite restaurants, a place I haven’t been in a long time. Then twice. El Quixote on 23rd. It smells absolutely wonderful. Like Paella in Valencia.Old blue tile walls, and the feeling of restaurant red. It’s 80 years old. There are no people in the entire place who make impossible food requests of the waiters. People are alone or in groups. It doesn’t matter. The restaurant is like a good party anywhere in Spain.

Louis Gomez, my friend Kathleen
sat next to him at the bar
and they became friends she photographed
his beautiful hands (I’d put them here
but my attempts were unsuccessful) Kathleen
introduced Louis Gomez to Larry and me
and he invited us to his 90th
birthday party October 11 all of us
even you who read my poems. He’s a Basque
man who told us to order the paella

The second night after an art show with
a bigger group of friends I returned to
El Quixote and walked by Louis Gomez
because every single day 365 days
of the year he eats his dinner at El
Quioxte not always paella last night
he had chicken. Sometimes, he said,
people take him to other Spanish
restaurants but they’re never as good
and he returns quickly. I asked him
for advice. Stay right where
you are if you’re happy
said Louis Gomez.