Monday, May 30, 2005


Occasionally, things are perfect.
Opening your arms to a good friend, the strength of her arms reassuring you. Like some power approves of your friendship the clouds break open for the first time in a week. You open the windows, pop music quietly playing as you eagerly catch each other up. Trying on clothes like teenagers playing hookie from school. Talking about London over seafood and beer. Laughing about ex-whatever they weres. Drinking beers and telling the bartender not to wear pleated shorts on his handsome frame. Running into the nice boy you had a date with and hadn't called, and your friend saying that she'd stolen you from the city against your will. Your friend saying with heavy emphasis on each word, "You could call her and visit her in Boston." Giving your phone number to the bartender, the guy that lives in Manhattan and the nice guy's friend so he can encourage the nice boy to call you.
Sometimes the sun breaks just when you need it. When you fear spending the rest of your life stuck inside shadows and showers, fear the dampness on your skin forever, the skies are clear when you wake up. You can get in the car and drive, music loud, the wind whipping strands of hair against your sunglasses. The sun rests against your skin, settling in to it's summer home. The sound of your flip-flops against your feet as you walk towards the ocean. Old men perched on the sea wall, backs to the ocean, facing their motorcycles. Young girls showing off their smooth skin to the men, sipping coffee drinks from green straws like hummingbirds. Hippie moms pulling their babies in sunhats out of their Toyotas. Surfers floating in the water, their wetsuits black and slick like otter skins. Notes of oldies and rap music floating from cars that pass by. Alone, these moments aren't anything special. But the weight of them together hits you and you smile.
Sometimes there are moments that are perfect. Dramatic irony of the best kind. After you've hauled all the food you'd planned to cook outside back inside, the rain stops falling and the sun comes out. After being threatened with the idea of being inside a cramped apartment in late spring, of eating off paper plates inside and trying not to drop ketchup on the hardwood floor, the reality happens and the clouds break up. You tilt your head back and look at the patches of blue through the verdant leaves of the old trees rising out of the cobblestones. For a moment you think that maybe you'll be the human equivalent of those trees-- growing and flourishing from the concrete soil of the city. For once you think about setting down a foundation and not fantasizing about an escape.

No comments: