Oh, Bucket

Prompt: Kick It
What’s the 11th item on your bucket list?


The town of Siena, Italy was more than accommodating. They set up a wide pergola in the town square, complete with grapevines and intertwining morning glory to give us perfect shade on the soft summer afternoon. Long tables were set with gleaming glasses and silverware, bright painted plates, and bowls of peaches and lemons.

Padma Lakshme, Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons were seated already. We’d stayed in touch since my appearance on Top Chef last year. Emeril was invited too, just because. He was already pouring glasses of Chianti for the early birds.

In a few minutes the paparazzi would arrive for their half hour of frenzy, then the evening would be ours alone.

My partner was greeting guests. He was slim and a little sunburnt, having just returned from Everest Base Camp. My sister and her boyfriend Frank had flown all my family in the jet (yes, the jet again) and we could hear them tumbling out of the local taxis that had arrived in the narrow streets off the square, doors slamming, laughter and loud chatter. My older brother brought a large case, as he would be joining me in orbit after the party ended.

The 1989 Calgary Flames arrived en masse, and we placed them with the 2010 Canadian Winter Olympics team, and the current Chicago Cubs, still celebrating their World Series win. Emeril began filling their glasses, too.

Jesus Christ had responded to the RSVP saying he was bringing a guest, and we all wondered who it would be, or Who it would be. Maybe he and Mary would finally go public?

Stevie Ray Vaughn was overseeing the setting up of his mike, amps, and speakers. He was taller in person than I expected. Brian Wilson kept offering up suggestions, and I could see Stevie Ray was getting impatient with him, so I sent Adele over to calm them both. She was always great in a crisis.

The dinner was meant to be a surprise, as it was in my honour, but I’d learned about it and set about fiddling with the guest list and seating plan. I sat Mary Cassat to my left, for example, instead of Martin Luther King, and secretly invited several of my partner’s asshole corporate buddies and their equally assholic spouses, so they could see the good fortune that had befallen us, and I put them at a shitty table. After all, I’m not a saint.

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