Thursday, November 25, 2010

Appreciating a Day Gone By

From Tales of the Old Hotel

I promised I'd write this day down for myself, if no one else. Then I had someone let me know they really don't care if they hurt my feelings or ignore even the single need for which I asked fulfillment, my one condition for her company and my one request for her time. More than one person very close to me let me down in a day, and suddenly my holiday plans were absent two people.

Granted: a two week visit, especially if the two of them fought, was going to be a challenge for us all, as when Emm and I are alone quarrels are seldom. With a bit of momentum, I should be really putting away the completed comics pages and preparing shows by Christmas/ my birthday. I was going to split the difference prudently and ready myself to sacrifice some personal time for the possible rewards that come with it and hopes of making others happy, even if I felt quite a bit unappreciated.

That isn't what I'm going to talk about, though---because, what about that wonderful day before? Monday contains content and inspiration for stories and songs and drawings, based on the richest personal treasure I have, and one I intend to celebrate more consciously in my work.

Why has sadness dimmed the fresh memory? Why have new memories left the dialog of that harmonious day so blank? Were that I had only spent Tuesday seizing that moment to remain with me. Truthfully, the personal disappointments since also have their lessons; the discomforts also inspire stories, songs, drawings. To make peace with those, I summon the happy day before, to use as my strength. The brain responds to our thoughts, our body reacts to them, as though what we imagine is somehow present; it's why we can scare ourselves with a movie or calm ourselves thinking about a soothing place or presence.

I reach into the fragments of that day to find myself and Emm walking all the streets of East Village in the sun. I'd been up working most of the night, but sleep felt like a waste; we had each other's company to enjoy, and soon enough the time would yield to the needs of work again.

We'd started out the door only to find Freeloading Freddie outside. We thought maybe he'd get what he wanted or vamoose in the time it took us to get a little sun and exercise. We'd gone out the door to at least restock on juices, but we did it several blocks north on Broadway. Balboa Park, a mile away, was tempting to consider and pleasing material for thought, though I'd probably need a nap in the middle of that trip!

Before we reached the store, we stopped off at the public library to fill out new cards for both of us---even if we didn't stay inside to look. Emm felt a bit rundown, but a walk and sunlight were a good tonic and we covered about half of downtown before turning up to Broadway. The store there has no sign for its unknown name, selling overstock, mostly, at discounts.

How do I reach back to the easy comraderie; what did we say to one another that made things so breezy, so quick to laugh?

I know we must have observed the troubled career of Freddie, but aside from the notion of staying out, gracing the library, walking to Broad, even heading back to the mall---what did we say? Was it some hope for where we go next in life? Was it enjoying someone's dress or figure?

I know we end up at Horton Plaza,and we laugh on the escalator, where we always have a laugh. Were we pretending to speak as Stuckwayze characters, smiling vacantly and twisting words into hilariously misunderstandable phrases? Sure it's weird! It's funny. It must sound very out of the ordinary if we're observed, but don't you always enjoy watching people you know are having a good time? Doesn't some part of that feel active in you? Do you know what I mean?

We decide to try a new place instead of the Indian food we've eaten as our primary mall stand-by; what WAS the name of that place with the Smashed Baked Potato with Ranch and Bacon, and the cheeseburger and fries? We almost never have a cheeseburger anymore, from red meat. We sat somewhere different, too, in the big outside food court. You couldn't help but notice all the school aged kids. We didn't even note the pen the deaf man left at first; it resembled a flower on the top end. Emm went over to the man, grey curly hair, mustache and slight beard on a long face centered with sad eyes and buys it. She really just wanted to offer him a couple of dollars. Attached was another sign language alphabet card, and we went over some of the letters. I remember when we first learned that much, years ago, and more; once upon a time, that was nearly her choice for college major. It feels good to see her openness and giving.

We write down the movie times for Megamind, should we come back out and feel like a matinee. We hustle past the massage parlor ---well, the mall version, you know---as we were both quite full and they are known to plead vociferously with passersby.

We'd been talking about a new plant and looking for one over the week before. Now we finally stop at Allen's Flowers, certain to find the green life we need for our apartment. Stephanie---that's the girl's name. Pretty. Dark haired. Gorgeous blue eyes, Emm says. Warm. We enjoyed listening to her tell about the variety of plants, but Emm's heart was set on a cactus from the first. Somehow some more laughs gently creep into the sunlit day, in the sunlit store with wide open bay doors. Before the end of the evening, the cactus is named Crowley Gerard, inspired by our friend Eric and his saint of Motherhood and Aleister himself. She waters him and checks out his pot, anticipating a long life with a little sunshine.

I know when we got home, some things happened that I can't provide for a mixed forum. We had very, very quality time together. It's too bad; I could probably describe that time best of all.

I have no doubt we played guitar. We may have tried improvising some music that night---no, that was last night. She is still pretty new but we can play along and both improve. Besides, I will always love her singing.

Looks like I drew for a few hours, too. We listened to Citizen Band's cd for the first time. I know we put on Astra Kelly---who had MC'd the show Sunday with Cathryn Beeks. I can hardly remember a word.

I tell you about this one afternoon, this one day, but what we said is submerged in the images of our actions. I know it made me feel like creating art that expresses how people might deeply love and appreciate, and enjoy, each other. Aside from what we said to Freddie, though, the words themselves emerge only in details about what drink we're going to try and how I really should leave my bag at the desk and the memory card we never pick up (in this case I don't have the phone that needs it with me, and since it came as a gift all I recall is that it's an LG phone of a sort lots of people would've replaced with a Curve or something by now).

Is the point becoming that we observe a few details in the moment---that sometimes no deep conversation is involved, only the rich freedom of knowing the day is ours? I may have been talking about the huge multi-band Local Brews Local Music show I'd attended the night before, how much it made me want to play, what people looked like. I'm glad the show was broadcast on 102.1 KPRI, because at least she heard most of the same music I did. How else would you hope to describe music---outside of crowd reactions, or maybe some attempt at analyzing what you technically heard (only useful with another musician who's in the know)? What else can you say about it? You had to be there.

What is said precisely is only occasionally memorable; as soon as you've slept the night through, even the most pleasant day begins to drift away. Yet the stinging words of someone's resentment and combativeness is there for the taking three days later. Perhaps it helps the latter that it was written; perhaps the feeling, and not the words, were the gold of the golden moments. When there is no sadness, such days seem as though they can never fade away.

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