I am draped in a Wreck t-shirt, painted and silk screened by the boys who I have watched with mother hen pride over the past fours years. It is nearly two in the morning and I am as awake as the day I was born. April 16th, 1986, ten twenty eight in the morning.
Spring was in the air today. It was such a tease and yet so reviving. Without fail, every single time a cyclist whipped past my position at the breakfast table, on the sidewalk, at the bar, or in the car, my neck swiveled to watch him pedal past. It is still balaclava weather, but today the air felt different. We felt different. I felt hopeful. And to think, I am missing Spring entirely! Insane.
Today was another Saturday, my favorite day of the week; my day of rejuvenation, my day of light and laughter, of slow mornings dragging my jammied behind around my so-loved home hefting cup after cup after cup to my mouth. Coffee on Saturday mornings at the red table. Andrea came to look at the apartment and we closed the deal with eye contact. No signatures necessary. I made up my mind a few days ago. My work here is done. It is time to give this home away to someone who needs a boost of positivity, roots and inspiration just as I did when I moved in two years ago. The winds of change are howling in my ears, it is welcomed and terrifying.
I hauled my ass out of my bed in time for her arrival and tidied with the pace of a thousand somethings, cleaned the bathroom, sang along to the Shins, anticipated breakfast. Desperate for some fresh, cigarette-free air, I opted to walk purposefully to the Village a little early to snag a forever dirty table and pop in to Pear to apologize to my sister for last night's sloppy doorway demeanor. I am sorry Frin, I was a mess. To recap, I fell into a tree and it took me half an hour to stagger to her house. She lives three blocks from my front door. Sorry Braintrain, I owe you big.
At the Toad I sat and read the paper, drinking another cup of coffee while waiting for the others. Jill and Chris showed up first, followed quickly by Alfie and Zach. Conversation was bang on and sincere. We are starting to become known as the table with the boistrous laughter and the wild hand gestures. Jill somehow won over our ice-queen-newly-knocked-up-and-still-bitter-as-hell-about-it server by talking baby banter and when our food came it had bigger portions than normal. All newly pregnant women, I salute you. Eat whatever you damn well want, you earned that lot. Eat your weight and eat your mistakes, it will be the best thing that ever happened to you six months from now. So we shot the shit over French Toast, kibitzed over bacon, shouted for attention over hash, and plum enjoyed all of the happy things that come along with eating breakfast at your favorite place on Saturday morning with good friends when you are all (save for the lady with child) still slightly faded from last night's shenanigans. It was good. We paid, left, breathed in the Spring air all together and took the Village by storm. Jill and Chris eventually parted ways to run errands, but Alfie and Zach and I perused records, magazines, toilet paper aisles, makeup counters, and Movie Village until heading back to my house for a round of afternoon tea and oranges. We listened to my new record (I like to buy a new one almost every Saturday as a reward for hard work during the week; and today I chose Suf's Illinoise, because it is a classic and a must-have in anyone's vinyl collection). Lord knows one can never have too much Sufjan Stevens on hand.
------------------------As a sidenote, I am desperately into Department of Eagles at the moment, thanks to the godfather Yosh, the true man of my heart. Listen to them. Love them. Take them on a trip. Find their album "In Ear Park" and listen to it while working or doing some activity that allows you to listen to it all the way through. Prick your ears and really listen. I like to listen to them when I wash dishes or wash down my grill at work. Grueling and rewarding. I hadn't really found a band that makes me think in that way since I stumbled upon Destroyer in Josh Ruth's music collection this summer. It is imperative to listen to it thoroughly. I think it is important to see things through in life. This is my new goal. See shit through. Pardon that outburst... back to the Perfect Saturday.
A few hours later we picked up Zach's lady, Mel (who I adore on every level) when she was finished work and popped into Garwood Grill for late afternoon grilled cheese and chocolate milk (just like on Saturday afternoons post public skate with my Dad one hundred years ago, and it tasted the exact same as it did at the VK to boot). The Wreck VI film premiered today at the Graffitti Gallery so we made sure to fill up on Garwood's comfort food and beetle over to the gallery way down Higgins to support my boys in the Wreck Posse. James, if you are reading this, I have never been so proud to be kin. Your part was graceful and tasteful and a pure feast for the eyes. Handsome devil, that man. One hell of a skateboarder. Bram and Gurngler did a bang up job of production. I felt very proud, and was honored to be called over by Baby Evan Stinclair and Tyler to stand beside them. These are my boys, my children. Anne M, I thought of you one hundred times while I stood between the two of them. I now feel what you mean when you call your man sons your sons. It was wonderful. Full stomach, full heart, full head, full throated laughter. Full day.
THEN, just when I didn't think my Saturday could get any better, the four of us (Alfie, Mel, Zach and I) drove to the Yellow Dog Tavern to see my very favorite local band, The Magnificent Sevens croon for the best people the city has to offer. They croon and their lead singer, Ida who plays stand up bass like a woman possessed, waiiiiiiiiils. She sings with her guts and people bend over backwards just to watch her. She is a showman, and it shows. We arrived hours ahead of time to get good real estate in the tiny pub but time slid out the window and became a non issue the more half pints we drank and the more rounds of Big Boss Little Boss we played. Nachos came, and so we became hungry vultures. I love nights like these. Eyes dart around the room, scanning, scanning, scanning for him, for them, for her, for it, for anything. Everyone is warm and appreciative of even the tiniest extension of grace. The room was full of good grace. Good gracious. I loved the men in plaid and heavy frames with the controversial haircuts with the side parts. Side parts! BABES. This is a bit of a gamble to admit, but ever since printing at Martha, I have developed a shameless (and quite respectful) crush on my art teacher who is very married. I am incredibly careful not to be one of those girls, groan, especially because I quite adore his lady who might someday be my boss (if I am lucky enough) and so on etc. But when he came up to me at the side bar to grab my hand and to tell me that because of the way I was raised and the way I work and the way I clean up my space, I now entitled to print at Martha street for free as long as I need to. It felt like passing a test that I had no idea I was writing. With gold stars at that. I was half faded and in my attempt to thank him for all he has opened me to and introduced me to in the art world namely, I probably spilled something or swore a blue streak (as did he) in my state of elation. What a teacher, what a man. And how. I am still floored. This will be something I do forever, printmake, I mean. No one can ever take that away, it is in my blood now, it is in my dreams. I feel so lucky to have found my niche so young.
When Ida wasn't dry humping her bass and distracting us from intimate conversation (the four of us have pretty intense chemistry when altogether) our heads were bent in the direction of each other. Again Zach delivered me straight into a Gladiator headspace so strong and decisive that it was tempting to up and leave our roundtable and head for the bush to start planting tonight. In my mind I am already there, going, working until puking, persevering. I think this will be the first time in my life that I will know exactly what it means to be Mennonite. We are a pack of work hungry wolves. I am at least. Ask me how I feel three months from now when I am planting three thousand trees a day, knee deep in swamp water with eight hundred fazillion bugs on my body. Hopefully I will still be hungry.
This doesn't make any sense. I am become nonsensical and it slightly depressing. Today was brilliant.
Tomorrow is already here. One day closer to there.