A three and a half month old friend is draped over my new shoulders with an ease that comes from only one fabric that runs as rampant as afternoon Benzedrine highs in the desperate housewife circle: cashmere. Hello, old friend. I may not be a desperate housewife, but I love good fabric. You feel wonderful, I must say. It is men's cashmere (always cheaper than women's I find) with strong black and white stripes, and five buttons down the middle. Earlier this evening I was wearing it with a tinge of guilt, but then unexpectedly, a rush of cold air swept the living room out from under a crack in the window above our heads and I dove for the sweater, lying there in wait in a heap on the hardwood. It will remain on these shoulders. Happy Graduation to you too, sweater.
Band of Horses is on now, also an old friend--musically--and a very cold beer is on the right. Trish and I just dished for a few hours in her warmly lit sun porch and we sat and we sat and we sat talking and occasionally dragging aimless fingers over the smooth brick exterior wall. It felt good to dish, to let words and anecdotes and fresh memories pour forth, dam-like into the lap of a friend. It felt very good. I am laughing now, the cashmere feels good against my bare arms as my shoulders jostle from all the chuckling. I am laughing because I just caught myself thinking of how delicious a peanut butter and jam sandwich on shitty brown store-bought bread would be right now. I miss my two pb and j's a day. I do. It is ridiculous. I am lost without them. In the time that I have been home, every time the clock strikes either 10:30 or 2:15, I flounder without a pb and j. When I am not caught in a daze from the hum of the fridge or the whir of my mum's mixer or the constant clapping from bystanders on the impressive greens of the PGA tour (or whatever), I am standing with my mouth agape or bantering in vain over the joys of tree planting. It is ridiculous. I feel ridiculous.
This evening, sitting cross legged in the ex-boyfriend-overpriced-but-very-beautiful cashmere, I sat back in that lovely living room and looked at the faces around the table in front of me (laden with beer bottles and pizza and the most sinful fries in the entire city) and smiled. I am home. I am at home with these faces and these nights that have yet to happen. We will patio roost and laugh and order unnecessary food and we will enjoy sun porches and climb rooftops because that is what we do. It is wonderful to come home and to be home. I will admit though, walking along a very bike-heavy Bar Italia this evening with an obscene overnight bag filled to the tits with clothes and toiletries and heels ('09 in a nutshell) at my side was absolutely terrifying. I could barely form sentences for that entire window of the evening.
By the way, Loco, I am coming for a visit. Get ready. I want to sing Toto's Africa unabashedly in a tiny dark room filled with French people who are one billion times cooler than I will ever be, I want fresh bagels and street meat and cheap wine and bike rides and markets with the fattest strawberries a Manitoban has ever seen. I am also taking a solitary train trip to a place I have never been, but as a Canadian should have long be introduced: Ottawa. Anyone know anything awesome about Ottawa? Any interesting friends? I live for train rides. I would pay the money and fill the paperwork and do the European dance again in a heartbeat just for the train rides alone. I live for Europe. My camera lives for Europe. But, in January I made a few quiet promises to myself while slumped against the wall beside Zach on Rabbi's kitchen floor (the ball long dropped, we never noticed). One was to go tree planting and to survive and two was to use some of the money to see my own country. It has been awhile since I roamed any land that varied from that of my own province. Shame. But, doors have been reopened and Dora the Explorer part 1 is on like Donkey Kong.
I wish I could explain the importance of eye contact in my life, but I simply cannot. This summer, eye contact changed my entire life. For real. Eye contact, it is that simple people: it says things words cannot. It is funny, sitting here in slippers at Rabbi's oak table, poaching internet from the Mansion, wearing tights, hair up and drinking beer, it has finally become easy to write. A crack in the door of thought. It is not much, but it is a crack that will open to a world of articulation with time. Rags and I are going away into the woods to be quiet and enjoy each other's company in a way neither of us have before and I am crossing nine and a half fingers (progress was made over our steak dinner regarding my semi-broken finger, thanks to Cal. Thanks Cal) that that crack will open a baby bit more. Baby steps.
Speaking of les bebes, oh my Lord. It is official, Jill and Chris have procreated a magical creature. This boy, while I have yet to shriek and coo over him in the flesh, is a beauty. Leaning over Erin's shoulder today, our bellies heavy with food, we stood leaning close and staring at this gorgeous boy. Baby Rollin is going to blow our minds in half. He reeks of goodness already (and I have only seen him in black and white). I am excited, I am so excited.
This is good.
These are all good things.
I am going to go to bed now beside the sleepy lady who I have missed dearly. Tomorrow my knees will crack as I drop into my usual spot around the gorgeous dining room table that Andrea refinished herself last summer in the garage of her dad (one of the reasons I fell in love with you, by the way; you and that table are unreal) and we will eat grapefruit with special spoons and drink tea and I will pet your cats (not because I have to, but because I missed you and I want to). Then I will ride my beautiful bicycle; that beauty that I have missed so very much and go visit my sister in her shop, then the record shop, then Ross' shop (to smell the wood and freshly varnished cabinets) and then to my coffee shop only to slide victoriously into my red booth to sip the coffee and read the paper in peace for the first time in an eternity. August, albeit a potentially cold August (all the more reason to wear my favorite piece of clothing of all time: the light fall jacket), will be good to us.
Who wants to go for a bike ride?
If you were wondering, I will be free for awhile.