Updated: Sep 10, 2018
“Wait, what are you doing here?” I said with mild indignation. I sat up, rubbed my eyes open and snatched my glass back as he brought it up for another gulp.
“I am helping you process your emotions, you’ve never been very good at that sort of thing,” Kipling slurred with a smile.
“Yes, I know that.” I said exhaustedly, “but, that is not what I mean, what are you doing here at 3:00 in the morning?”
“Ohhhh so you want to know how I came to be here at the present? And not, what I am presently doing here? In that case, I am here for our annual sailing trip! But you should know all about that as we tend to go on it annually.” Kipling retorted with a smirk.
“I know that, Kip. But we’re not leaving for two days and you weren’t supposed arrive until tomorrow night.”
“Ahh yes, so you’ve noticed I am early.”
“It seems unmistakable.”
“Well, there’s no point in lying. You might also notice my present state of intoxication. I went out with the trading floor guys after they had a particularly profitable day. I was planning to stay at my parent’s place uptown, but I couldn’t find the key. So, I called an Uber, and here I am.”
“You ubered from Manhattan to Connecticut!” I said defiantly as I sat straight up in my chair. “How much did that cost, Kipling?”
“Daniel, are you avoiding telling me more about what’s going on by asking these gauche questions about money?” he said like an all knowing mother. Then, after a few second pause he added, “Anyway, why would I care? My trust invested in Uber’s Series B. So basically, I made money coming here.”
That's the Kipling I know and love: equal parts caring and complete tool. I guess that's what I appreciate about him so much. He was right, I was avoiding going into detail. I was genuinely unsure what he was doing here over twelve hours before he said he was going to arrive, but I was used to him being a little wild, so my surprise was far from genuine.
“Daniel, you there?” He said while snapping in front of my face.
“Oh sorry, I’m here. I was just thinking how unbearable this trip is going to be. I hadn’t actually considered the fact that I have to spend a week with Jack until you showed up.”
“Oh come on, Jack is a good guy,” Kipling added.
“Jack is a great guy. That’s the problem, that makes this all my fault. I introduced Millie to our group. I should have known she would be interested in someone like him. He’s nice, he’s good looking, he’s smart, he’s ambitious, his success is guaranteed. I mean, I would probably marry him.”
“Yeah, me too.” Kipling replied.
I chuckled a little bit, experiencing the first moment of levity since that morning, but said nothing else.
“But you missed one thing – he’s boring. I tried calling him tonight while I was waiting for my Uber to see if he wanted to come and he didn’t even pick up.”
“Kip, you called him at 1:30 am on a Thursday. Not picking up doesn’t make him boring. It means he is employed and doesn’t show up to work hung over.”
“Yeah, that’s what I said.”
At this, I let out more than just a chuckle and tossed back the rest of my whiskey. Instinctively, I stuck out my hand for a refill. As Kipling poured me a generous glass, I thought he might be right. Jack was boring. Not the kind of boring that collects rocks or films trains; he could carry on a good dinner party conversation. He was the kind of boring that has an unalterable life plan. I am not sure he actually planned it or if it was given to him by his family. Regardless, there was no room left for adventure. There was no room for him to be creative in determining who he would become. Anyone joining him in life would be subject to the same constraints and destined for a life of boredom. It killed me to think of Millie’s free spirit being forced into this mold.
“Kipling,” I said, “let’s talk about something else.”
“Alright. Did Ben tell you what boat we’re taking? It’s that one his parent’s bought when they threw that pirate themed party like 15 years ago.”
“Are you serious, that piece of garbage?” I exclaimed. “ I just assumed it sank already. Are we going to be able to make it to Newport in that? Why is Benedict always making such a spectacle?”
“I have no idea,” Kip replied, “but I think my favorite thing about him is how uncomfortable he makes you feel in public.”