Julius really wanted to meet his girlfriend Ethel that afternoon at 1:00 p.m at the Collonnade Room in Massapequa. They were planning on having such a really nice birthday lunch together. She was turning thirty. He didn’t know why he let his nerves bother him so much. Looking back over his lifetime he could recall his always having gotten sweaty palms and anxiety and panic attacks at even so much as the thought of a special occasion. It was 5:15 a.m and he was lying around in bed, in his Lindenhurst, New York, apartment, wondering if he could show the girl of his dreams the time of her life on her milestone birthday. Having already made all the most significant plans in advance-the dinner reservations, the tickets for the show, the transportation and flowers- he knew in his head that he was in the clear unless the State of New York closed down that day. He just couldn’t get it out of his head, though, that something was missing, as if, howsoever hard he kept trying, he were still hours behind schedule in some way. Didn’t something have yet to be done, he wondered? Wasn’t there a necessary preparation of some kind which he should be thinking of? He kept staring at his ceiling counting the cracks out of boredom and frustration. He knew quite well that if he called Ralph, his best friend, at this obscenely early hour, Ralph would never let him hear the end of it. Because of his being the only compulsive clock watcher in his circle, he couldn’t count on anyone to understand him. There he was, stranded all alone with his dry mouth and entirely unnecessary stress. All the nightmarishly intense peace and quiet of his suburban residential neighborhood didn’t help the least bit either. Ethel, having always been an exceptionally kind understanding lady, would have accepted good naturedly any entirely unavoidable mishaps anyway. He seemed entirely to have overlooked that though. Finally the moment of truth arrived. It was 12:45 p.m. when he walked into the vestibule of the Collonnade Room on Sunrise Highway. Within minutes after his having gotten there, Ethel arrived. Everything worked out at least as well as he could possibly have wanted it to. Ethel merely rolled her eyes, behind his back, for a few seconds and pretended she’d never even expected any trouble.