A Long and Luscious Day
Some days it feels impossible to zoom in on one magical moment and paint its picture. Instead, the day begs for lists and making up new words and total disregard for explanation of context. “Let me be!” the day says, when I try to write. “Pour me out! See all of me!”
At once upon waking there was the sound of rain, like my Oregon home but not so damp here in the mountains. And again at sunrise, the light was barely visible through the clouds, like a fading flashlight poking through stubborn darkness. The morning routine went as such: dress, toilet, teeth, write, email, French, breakfast, to-do list, out-the-door-and-down-the-road and yes, I feel more in tune now, like spring peepers that know just when to begin their seasonal chatter. The day is open to me; I am ready; I am re-set.
At work I decide to be strong and patient. The children glow with innocence even though they are end-of-the-week tired. And with Evan, I choose not to be pulled in. I choose not to make weekend plans. I choose not, I choose not, I choose not.
Lunch with Veva is exquisite. We dine on tuna with capers, mayo, red onion, organic celery, and a fresh squeezed lemon. The connection is instant, like picking up where we left off in some other lifetime. In the sunlight on the back porch, she leans into the chair and listens to me. We both play interviewer, getting right down to the meat of it and digging in. “Oh,” she says, “yes. I had a boyfriend who lost his mind too.” There is instant kinship.
Later, I interview LC (famous clay sculptor) for freelance work and we are on target. Her child plays happily outside and we have the studio to ourselves. Here, her life-sized hybrid creatures are born and brought to life. I poke my finger in some clay dust and consider that they could be the ashes of an imaginary being. I admire her answers to my questions and take notes rapidly. Secretly, I am in awe that since 1995 she has continually sold out shows all over the country, without fail. We finish formal business and she turns the tables ever-so-slightly, interviewing me about my life, my writing, my future. I give what I can, after all, it is only fair to share myself with her after she has offered me so much.
The evening passes rapidly, like water over rocks, and I find myself at a friend’s house for Friday festivities. There are new versions of Beer Pong from Beruit and hybrid-American versions from my rugby days of yore. Dogs bark and women fall and laugh in love with the moment and the lightness of themselves. Boys smoke cigarettes and slowly kill themselves, pale faces framed by the back porch light. Beer cans pile up, the chicken-soup is ready and we eat, drink, cheers all around, “SOCIAL!!!”, and yes this is just where we want to be – in the thick of it, drawing out our lives like maple syrup, rich and requiring hard work, but oh—
—Isn’t it worth it when it comes out and you can finally see the shimmery brown tree-blood of your life? Tasting it even though you are certain of its inherent sweetness, can remember the flavor from eons ago, are reassured as you watch it spill into the pan of your perspective and sigh softly, to yourself as you drive home: Yes, yes, human beings suffer, human beings relish; we are always with ourselves, forever, attached, shadowed, partnered with the anomaly of our existence.