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graciousness for you friends

Lady in Yellow

there have been many afternoons this summer, when at approximately 4 p.m., i will look out the thick office windows in my building, see the sky darken, and then watch the rain come down in sheets, sideways. this has happened more than once. when it began today at approximately 4 p.m., after a gorgeous, bright, hot day, i was none too surprised, especially with all the tropical storms in the south sweeping down and out. i watched, face close to the window in my boss's office, as the rain shot sideways, almost too heavy to see the building across the street, watched the industrial downtown streetlights practically swaying in the wind like spring leaves, and then decided that being near a window wasn't probably the safest course of action for the time being.

then the rain stopped. well, it went down to a trickle.

i left my office around 5 p.m., not needing an umbrella. waited for a train that wasn't crammed full of rush hour people, and finally got to my destination a little after 6 p.m. by the time we emerged from underground, the sky was threateningly dark again, black clouds blotting out the sun. as soon as i descended the platform to the city street, the rain began coming straight down in torrents. i waited about 15 min for it to ease up, huddled with a dozen others in the sheltered train exit way, backs to the wind, which was picking up, blowing rain on us. soon, my patience got the better of me, and my desire to eat and be safe under real shelter overtook me -- i challenged the rain, with only a tattered umbrella to protect me.

walking into the rain, the umbrella more of a shield than a cover, i power walked in my wedges down a street devoid of life, outside of a few cars and a couple brave (i.e. crazy) bicyclists. crossing the street at one point, a stream that surged around the corner of the sidewalk threatened to take my feet from under me as i stepped into the 6 inch high moving 'puddle'. the streets were flooded. i was flooded. i began muttering, "if anyone denies my devotion to comedy, let them see this act as evidence to the contraire! if i die in the middle of Wrigleyville, i will kill myself! the only things that matter are love and comedy, and i prove this today, with my present actions!" and so on. real crazy-person-in-middle-of-pseudo-apocalypse ranting. fun.

arrived at my destination, a veritable sop of a human, and sat through two cups of tea and a turkey Reuben, chattering and shaking away in the air conditioned pub. by the time dinner was complete, the rain was down to a mere drizzle again, and we easily went two storefronts down to the place of venue. fortunately, we weren't the only ones to brave the elements, others as devoted as we to our favorite eight-week run, and we laughed at performers who had forsaken their footwear and stood barefoot on stage, because really, we were all drowned rats and were all just trying to warm up and forget the time when the Apocalypse had a dress rehearsal in Chicago.

i thought the fun was over as i boarded the bus after the show to shoot up north to my block, but in getting off and beginning the walk down my street, i started to notice a trend. no lights, anywhere. no traffic lights at one of the busiest, widest intersections in the area (i ran, in aforementioned wedges, across it, like a frog in a video game). no one was stopping. the street was black.

i resumed walking normally, past a mostly empty parking lot, and remarked, "this is rapist country." kept walking. walked by a teenager just standing outside of a house. all black. a half block up, he says, "do you have an extra cigarette?" "no, this is my last," me not interested in stopping in the middle of the darkness to converse awkwardly with a teenager. shot glances behind me as i continued to walk. came upon three people sitting on their stoop, one with a small flash light, flickering (I was thinking how i should maybe get my bike light out of my bag and just use it to alert, more than to do any kind of real navigation). i stopped, "is the whole street out?" the girl remarked that i was tall. one of the boys asked where i was coming from and if it was like this, there (it wasn't. it was positively bustling. this street, here, this is a ghost town.). we shared a few laughs about the state of our lives, and i continued on, now wanting to talk to someone on the phone until i got to my apartment, just to keep busy and not think about how dark it was, in the city, where it's always bright. it reminded me of being in the country on a moonless night, which is great, when you're in the country. not when you're in a place that is supposed to contain and celebrate life at all hours of the day and night.

getting to my block, notice that the streetlights are on, here. my building -- lights on. "Whew. No need to sleep in the dark, tonight."


too much of our writing is transient. it makes me rather anxious at the end of the day.

revisit. dec. 06.


out last night, consuming my first bottles of cold-served sake, my first glass of plum wine, with countless pieces of maguro nigiri... we followed w/ christmas ale at a boutique party (stumbled upon, in the rain we were, and it was there, and they were friends a decade removed), and then chocolate stouts at the hip new rest-o-bar in the oldest part of town, that one where vincent gallo and christina ricci walked around 10 years ago like they owned the joint, fucking hollywood...

i was reminded, over a sci-fi black-n-white from 50 yrs ago, that truly this girl, and this life, and everything that led she and i up to this moment in time, were the absolute best things we had ever experienced, and that we would continue to experience them for untold years, no matter the distance or length of time between our 24 hour bouts of connection.

i was reminded, too, that it's time to begin working, i mean, really working, concentrating on the next level, not just stepping into it haphazardly with no warning or preparation. the time here, on the farm, has given me the opportunity to reflect; call it a "change of course", call it reflection, or what you will, really, but i know that it means a marked change in behavior and method, and, like this last year, there will be a metamorphosis, in more than one way.

it will be hibernation to some, and new connections to others, and to me, it will be life. there is no stepping backward, there is only the next rung. there is no need to continue making the same blunders, hoping one will hit and stick. as evidenced by history, they never do. they're never cooked enough, and you know, the water will never boil to the temperature that it needs to. find a new recipe. sell your appliances and start new. i advice on the red models -- very chic this year.

happy solstice to all, the days have already gotten longer. it's time to make the most of them.


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