monday (lavender’s green)

31 01 2008

monday in addition to the good parts–getting some work done, getting that sliver of writing done, having a cuppa mid-day tea with shawn, spending a few hours staring into caleb’s baby blues–a couple of different people made me considerably…not exactly sad, but something between disappointed, disillusioned, and resigned, for a couple of completely different reasons, & by evening-time i was pretty done with the day. matt and jenn–caleb’s parents–had invited me over for a card-games night that started around 7ish, & i’d stalled on them, since i’d thought i might have evening plans (see above), & then i’d agreed to help get dinner ready for when sangeetha got home from the gym, which somehow evolved into a three-way collaborative cooking-and-cleaning experience w/her & paul, & so when i texted claire, who was at card-games night, at almost 9:30 to say “i’m way too late, aren’t i?” i expected to be just going off grumpily to bed.

instead, she said no i wasn’t, & so i, like christian used to say, “quite chuffed” at the chance to be not in my own head anymore & knowing there would be lights and laughter and probably alcohol, popped my cold butt in my cold car for an ecologically insensitive 3 block drive to the smiths’ house (mostly i didn’t want to waste the time, b/c i figured on a school night–jenn’s a teacher–folks w/a 2-month old weren’t going to be having guests over for very much longer). three (very wee–i am such a lightweight) glasses of wine and three hours later, i probably ought not to have driven that car back home–and if it had been a longer distance or we lived in a busier place with bigger roads i’d have used my sense & asked for a couch. as was i didn’t see another car, and anyway the cold getting to mine shocked my reflexes WIDE THE HELL AWAKE. the three glasses of wine were a merlot mix–i need to ask matt if he remembers what the other half was, since it didn’t trigger a migrane, & so i can add it to my approved-in-small-doses red list–and the three hours? dreamy.

when i got there i just let myself in instead of making noise at the door–less barking and freaking out of the dog happens that way–marveling a bit about how a week and a half ago i hardly knew these folks & now i’m letting myself into their house, & unwrapped my layers as best as i could w/maggie jumping on me, like you do when you’re an energetic friendly mottled sheepdog with no sheep, & wandered ’round to the dining room table, where claire & matt & jenn & their friend pam were trying to play uno around some party snacks, claire’s arms full of a bright-eyed caleb, & how she & matt were snorting in french quoting python and making very little sense. i took caleb so claire could play her hand, matt poured wine, jenn trounced his ass at uno, & pam & i offered to teach the baby texan (we’d been discussing how when he got in trouble for bad words at school the teacher could know who to blame by the accent he said them in). caleb was warm & snuggly & entirely un-fussy for an hour or so while they played & i watched, leaving the cutthroat behavior & the namecalling to those better suited to it, & then he had a bottle & went down for a while when they switched decks, dealt me in, & let me win at sevens.

one round of that was all we managed before we got distracted–jenn and pam got into some long, involved discussion about what was going on at school (from which i gather that’s where jenn knows pam from), and matt got the laptop to show off pictures of his younger half-sister–a direct riff from some part of a conversation–which led into pictures of england, his entire extended family, his & jenn’s trip to claire’s homeland, & caleb’s baby photos. the new zealand ones in particular set us off on the next tangent, wherein i won my second batch of uber-cool points from matt. the first was when i recognized the lettering of his tattoo of caleb’s name on his arm as a tolkein elvish font–he said i was the first, and i felt smug, although i don’t suppose i’ve had much competition, since it’s only been there two months and it’s january, so outside of his own home not many people see his arm-skin. this time it was b/c claire said something about the song she’d have to send him to make the soundtrack for the slideshow, and he said he liked the song it had, and i asked what it was, and he said “it’s marillion. i know, i know, what the hell’s marrillion.” “no,” i said, “post-fish marillion.” “yeah,” he said, and his face lit up. “i didn’t follow them after that,” i said, “so i don’t know it. but i saw him live, & it rocked my little world.”

& so we were off, to a good bout of eye-rolling from jenn, because he had to show us a video, because claire had never heard of the band at all–oh the horror–and i was among the unconverted–“you’re probably all ‘kayleigh'”–who didn’t know that the awesome had continued, and did i want to see where he’d gotten his name into the liner-notes? i did, of course, & pam went home, having school tomorrow, and jenn went to bed, having the same, reminding him to keep the tv down (and only came out once in her strawberry-and-white pajamas to glare at him for reinforcement) so that she & the baby could sleep, & matt poured more wine & made claire & i watch the 17-minute video of something with him, & then brought the computer back over so we could get on youtube and watch all thirteen minutes of “grendel” performed in approximately 1981, & oh the hair in the crowds, while we one-upped each others’ concert stories (and i had to be reminded how bono kissed claire, o the agony, again) & talked about fish’s unbelievable-scary charisma & i drank my wine & rode on the guitar-swells like luckdragons.

claire bugged out after “grendel,” & caleb woke up after “warm wet circles,” & matt brought him back to the couch with a bottle for another post-fish song or two & “sugar mice,” the video for which he’d never seen &, since it takes on fish’s failure as a father directly, almost made the new daddy cry. we talked about school notebooks–how i’d perfected drawing the band’s logo, and which lyrics he’d written out in the front-flap of his own–& about the crazy instinct involved in how easily his hands move to hold and shift and interact with that little boy, in between our own hazy reveries about what little bits of the 70s we remember & what fish’s grendel-shirt evoked, & he wouldn’t let me leave without pressing a copy of clutching at straws into my hands to borrow. i’ve played it a couple times; erc had it, i remember it, but it wasn’t one of the ones he played all the time, & i’ve been thinking about him, and living in radford/dublin, & the jesters we sketched on scraps of paper, & the crazy-blue of his-and-now-luke’s eyes. i still tell people kayleigh is about my high school girlfriend, although “i never did write that love song” doesn’t make me wish i’d had the words to tell her anything anymore. i’ve learned too many lessons about things that other people just can’t hear no matter what you say. and i like the song better now that it doesn’t make me feel that rue.

no matter how parts of that sound, the nostalgia and the newness wasn’t mournful–those were warm little memories to cradle, like the caleb’s warm blue-fleecy onesie, & when i let myself back out into the cold, there were a few stars poking through the high, black-ice haze, and i was what i used to say (nicked from sarah slean) about jeremiah: charmed, charmed, charmed; glad to take a ride. THEN i went home & had an entirely ill-advised IM-chat with david & another part of an almost fight with one far dearer, but i had blue marillion as a soundtrack and anyway it wasn’t monday anymore, so that’s not part of this story. it’s such a marvel, how people have these lives, these stories, these trajectories, and let you in to share them–and that alone is a terrific reason to stay in grad school, where you keep meeting new people who know from their own these wildly different parts of your almost-forgotten lives. i have no idea what even brought matt to this country, for all that it’s so clear now what keeps him here–it certainly wasn’t some great destiny to remember the one beloved niche-market band with me on a random weekday in some random northern town. & i’m so glad i gave up looking for Great Purpose & chose instead to settle for minute synchronicities and the gifts of their delight.

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6 responses

31 01 2008
sometimerose

And having one that age, I can say that they are probably grateful for you, too. It helps to have friends and laughter to share the night with, because there is no sleeping, anyway!

2 02 2008
tyra

lol–yeah, when i saw matt weds he said the MINUTE i left, caleb turned into a 2-hour howler. i’ve never seen him do it for more than about 10 minutes. either i’m lucky, or he performs for the audience of visiting girls. 🙂

2 02 2008
deity_inc

lavender’s blue
Good God!!!!! I thought I was the only one who still listened to Marillion.

2 02 2008
deity_inc

lavender’s blue
Good God!!!!! I thought I was the only one who still listened to Marillion.

2 02 2008
tyra

lol–yeah, when i saw matt weds he said the MINUTE i left, caleb turned into a 2-hour howler. i’ve never seen him do it for more than about 10 minutes. either i’m lucky, or he performs for the audience of visiting girls. 🙂

31 01 2008
sometimerose

And having one that age, I can say that they are probably grateful for you, too. It helps to have friends and laughter to share the night with, because there is no sleeping, anyway!

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