old new guestbook dland GLINT



And I told you to be patient, and I told to be fine: 6.14.10

Where was I? Oh, right. From the chilly hills of Edinboro, PA that directly conjured its namesake, I went down to the warm palm and palmetto shoreline of Miami, almost incredulous at the Saturday afternoon ride into town past the temple going Jews walking in dark long jackets over canal bridges. I wish I had gotten out to see some more of the sinewy Deco lines and fierce tempo of South Beach, but instead sat in a hotel conference room gazing out at porpoises arcing along through the Intracoastal Waterway and was subjected to some stilted mojitos in the forced collegiality that work demands. Such a disservice to the languid charms of the mojito in its native habitat. From Florida, I was off on a brief junket to Chicago, where I emerged from the El into waking city streets that pumped with people and business and purpose in a way that my old government town never could. On the El, two kids stood with their arms snaked around their skinny jeans, hands sunk into the other’s back pockets, never letting go the whole ride, so absorbed in their early morning after infatuation that they made me break into sort of a rueful grin. I was there when I was their age, maybe 23. And at 17 and even 31. On the metal wall behind them, someone had scratched the word, “THIEF.” An accusatory vandal with a message, maybe a warning. From Chicago, I was off to Seattle, its impressive skyline dwarfed as always by the grandiosity of the Cascades and the skies over the Sound, stretching north to Canadian wilds past further mountain ranges. I spent time with DC and saw R and even P, and had a rhubarb soda with K&R and the soon to be mini-K, and finally met J, who took me to the Hazelwood where I took in the dark velvet mood and marveled at each stylized detail, right down to the dainty serving of the dark truffle and Nat Sherman on the china plate to complement the ginger bitters and whiskey. And there were meandering conversations on DC’s balcony with coffee and cigarettes, both pleasingly hot and sharp beneath the damp canopy of misting rain and evergreen trees, and punctuated by the calls of big black birds that soared over Capitol Hill. Thank goodness for the hospitality of friends that saves the soul of the vagabond business traveler from wearisome hotels. On Olive Street, just off of Broadway, there is an old movie marquee that now looms over a laundry and dry cleaning place. The whole time I was there, it read: YOU SEND ME. Yes, indeed, Seattle. You send me. And then it was back to Chicago for a longer trip and some time with M&R2D2 and the sweet niece and growing nephew. The Shedd Aquarium downtown has beautifully bulbous old lamps hanging in its entry hall draped by copper octopi, their arms dripping down like liquid metal, molten. And then it was right back out again for a Midwestern empty drive from Kansas City to Topeka and the shuttered, deadened little town quiet of a midweek workday. From Topeka, I was off to the suffering heat of Phoenix, Arizona that made me feel like some skittering beetle, crouching low in the near deserted desert downtown sun making mad dashes for shelter from one air conditioned lobby to another. And there was a pleasant day with UP and C catching up on the newest babies and latest passings that are the literal heart of family, pulsing in new, circulating out the old, depleted of oxygen. Then, it was off to Providence, Rhode Island on a crisp, cool day that made me think about a beach town bike to ride down some pleasant back lane that ends in the blue New England Atlantic, a dock and a pier, a book, a lap to lounge in, summer kissing with lazy intentions. But there was none of that slipped into the one night back at home, and instead it was off again, this time down to Baton Rouge’s muggy hot shrug off the banks of the Mississippi that went chugging under the trestle bridge down to the oil ruined Gulf which still fills my stomach with a dread slicked with worry. And now, it’s back to my ivy overgrown little house on the corner, humming with the air conditioning left on for the poor old puss, cheese from weeks ago mellowing in the refrigerator, mail piled in a hasty stack, flowers dead and wilting in their pots, all waiting for a few days of calming early summer routines and small errands. Yesterday, on an impromptu dusky bike ride over to Fells and back, I was whizzing along the downtown bike lane and this skinny, all arms and legs splaying everywhere black kid was coming in the opposite direction. He was on a bike that was easily four times too big for him and yet his lanky frame was in command of the thing. We both came flying up towards each other and he caught my eye and lifted both hands off his handlebars. “Yeah!” He yelled and fist pumped and smiled as we started to pass each other. He could have just been being obnoxious in a young kid way, or he could have just been having a righteous good time and it doesn’t even matter. I caught his eye and waved back with both hands and a genuine, happy grin, and in a split second I know he saw it and it was almost some kind of shock registering with him as we skimmed past smiling for real, pedaling with our hands free and stretched out above us like it was a mutual surrender.

reflect - reinvent ....rayclaire@gmail.com... what i used to think... what i hear... what i see... where i'd like to be...

the black apple... the girl who... sarah brown... thunderpie... evany... jenny b harris... posie... claude le monde... artsy... fartsy... jeff... random person in texas... another rachel... smitten kitchen... more of me... still more of me... even more of me...and yet still more of me...more of me but not for free...

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