09 May, 2006

Busy. You?

...some folks say it’s too big and uses too much gas/ Some folks say it’s too old and that it goes too fast/ But my love is bigger than a Honda, it’s bigger than a Subaru....

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Would you rather ride to the train station in a convertible?

He looks up from the phone book, finger still poised over the name of a taxi service.

He needs to get to the station for a six o'clock train. It's fifteen minutes from here, certainly not worth nearly fifty dollars in cab fare. Besides, I have a soft spot for men with three-letter names. Jon. Wil. Tim. This tall rugged fellow with Midwestern skin, 'seventies hair and a tiny gap between his teeth sports a nametag that dubs him 'Wes'.

"Well, sure," he answers after a moment of slack-jawed silence.

Friday, I dug a creation out of the bodacious basement (and no, this time I'm not talking about my ass, but about the actual basement, the one beneath the house) that I wore when Fluffy and I had our first gig together. He and assorted other children wore bright colors and carried a butterfly on a stick. I led the parade of children as a spring fairy, or garden sprite, or some other impractical nonsense in the middle of January five or more years ago. Today, I'll wear it to the Fairie Festival at Sproutwood Farms in Glen Rock, PA. Fuzzy gets a glimpse of the gown and nothing will do but that she has one, too. Ten minutes and a handful of notions later, she has a scarf- and ribbon-bedecked knit tank dress. If only all wishes were this simple to grant. The boys wear tie-dyed tee shirts and try hard to not be bored. I think we fit in.

We've seen a lot of theatre lately: Damn Yankees! at Mt. St. Joe high school, and The Phantom Tollbooth at Severna Park . Upcoming events include the MWA Poetry Cafe at the CAC, a guest appearance at the Coffee Beanery Cafe in Annapolis with the Green Moon Poets' Society (of which, I have been informed, I am now a lifetime member- if only everything was this embracing) and the kids' dance recital on Saturday on the Mainstage of CAC.

Sunday, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival allows us to touch sheep and llamas and rabbits and goats, while offering yarns and garments and wool roving for our purchase. A woman spins thread on a wooden wheel, pulling fur from the rabbit on her lap in tiny bunches. Woolen-clad 4-H kids lead animals before a group of judges, hoping for a ribbon. "The sweater was made oversized, so that Emily can continue to wear it as she grows. It was designed and created by her aunt, from Shadow's first shearing. Notice that the back of the sweater matches the pattern on Shadow's back, and the front of it mirrors his belly." The 2005 Wool Queen reads the bios of the competitors. I guess the 2006 Queen has yet to be chosen.

But Saturday, the day of the MWA Annual Writer's Conference, Saturday is glorious. I hesitate to wax too poetical, knowing that other parts of the country are dismal, realizing that a day like this is a gift, a treasure, a treat. Tomorrow will be cloudy and cool, but today is topless weather. Perfect.

Someone I was friendly with in high school has arrived. The Professor holds no surprises for me. He is like he was then, only moreso. What surprises me is me. I like him even better now. He's finished a novel, and wants an agent. This is a good place to look.

"I tried going to one of those local author signings. I'd never heard of the author, but I bought the book, waited at the back of the line, feeling totally cheesy, and told her I'd finished a book and wondered how she'd gotten her agent. She just shut down.. I felt so slimy."

Mmm. Sounds like you need to listen to Running Bear Loved Little White Dove a couple of times in a row. Embrace your inner cheeseball.

"I love that song!"

And Teen Angel?

"That, too. No, I think I'm pretty comfortable with my inner cheeseball. It's the outer one I'm having trouble with."

Right. You have to be the cheese. Own the cheese. Display your cheese.

Wes and I ride in perfect topless weather to the train station. He chats about his kid, his fiancee. No, baby, I'm not hitting on you. When I offer a ride, a ride is all I'm offering.

He offers compensation.

"Can I give you gas money? Anything?"

Think of me kindly. Do a favor for a stranger.

"Well, let me give you a story." He digs through, selects one. "This is the one the agent asked to see," he tells me.

If only all exchanges were so casual and so kind.



(Pink Cadillac; Bruce Springsteen)

1 comment:

Paul said...

Those little exchanges of kindness in life are far more important than most people could ever guess. I was in Mexico this past weekend (Cinquo de Mayo!) and had walked about a half mile to a beach. As I was walking back a swarm of ATVs went buzzing by me, and I thought wistfully about riding one back to my car... and maybe two minutes later a guy stopped and out of the blue offered me a ride. Here I was in a foreign country, out away from the friendly tourist areas, and a stranger graciously helps me for no other reason than it was a nice day and he happened to be out in it.

This is the reason that I do similar little odd gestures like that- it makes someone's whole week feel a little brighter.