acoustic echo

28 07 2011

Straightforwardly, that’s exactly what’s here: Matt & Paul playing Oasis with un-wired guitars in the empty rooms of the old apartment after our final round of cleaning–the only light is one bulb from the kitchen and the last grey daylight leaking across the shiny floor.

“I wanna SKA-ify it,” Paul’s saying, laughing, about “Don’t Look Back in Anger,” in answer to Matt’s “it’s an anthem, man.” What Matt meant is something between “o god will the nineties ever die” and “don’t hate us for all the fights you had to listen to before we moved away–both through the wall when we lived next door and through the windows when we came over here,” but he’ll take the laugh; it would be the answer anyway.

Less straightforwardly, the last-night vibe makes the echo metaphoric: i’ve lived in this less-than-100-yards of earth-space for five years, and there have been a lot of songs, a lot of stories, a lot of loss and a lot of ground gained, a lot of changes, a lot of late-night talks, a lot of gatherings in three of the four kitchens in these two houses, a lot of friendships made and fed and grown and some released like little birds with new migration patterns in their empty bones. Paul’s voice and his guitar are a two-toned twisted thread (denim blue and wheatgrass) that have woven through the whole, and if not for his and Matt’s open mic intentions, they’d be the thread that hurt the most to cut and leave behind. But i don’t have to. And that’s a marvel: moving away and getting to stay. Keeping the people who want to be kept, giving the others the freedom to fade, and not having impossible geographies to hide behind or blame, because it’s only a ten-minute drive, really; it’s the best of both kinds growing and moving with people-and-places.

We’re still coming back at least once a week anyway, to gather CSA veggie from Paul & his roommate Katy: many things can change in a month, but the planet still turns at its pace, and the harvest still comes when it comes. This morning’s breakfast, on our new back porch–the one “room” that looks like a room and not like a lorry-crash–was CSA farm-egg omelets of sweet, buttery CSA onions & cheddar with chopped CSA cherry tomatoes on top. I have designs on making a pesto tomorrow that combines the small bunch of cilantro that came in this week with some of our happily burgeoning basil, the only real success from our gardening attempts–the watermelons look like a nest of limp sticks, the tomatoes never made it beyond 2-inch shoots, the cilantro bloomed-and-died while we were traveling, and the chives are thinner than hairs and about as full of flavor. But, dangit, they look like a jungle of varied food-life out on the not-a-lorry-crash porch, and creating a space filled with many shapes of green was one of my primary objectives in planting them in the first place, so i consider the project (especially in the light of how we moved them across town after abandoning them for 2 weeks to drive 3,000 miles up and down the east coast) a success.

There are lost days that warrant recounting: Montreal was a blur of bright colors (the pictures all collected somewhere I can’t get to yet), and the road trip and five-day house-party with the little charmer just dripped with goodness and luck and the kindness and generosity of friends new-and-old, but they’ll have to wait until we get the wireless hooked up–that’s one of many things that don’t work yet in the new house, alongside the chicken/fox/corn puzzle of how the bookshelves can’t be moved into place because there are too many boxes of books in the way, and the boxes can’t be unpacked until there are shelves to put them on. The details are just details, though; it’ll all come out in the wash (once Enda calls Matt back and we work out a way to borrow his truck so we can buy a dryer and actually do the wash!).

There are, still and yet, a million things I’m going to miss (even, as hard as this would have been a few years back to fathom, “Alison” (my aim is true). But the idea of leaving here when the singing’s over, leaving the keys behind, and going home for good–not “to the house” vs. “to the apartment”–is so right it gives me the shivers (just like Matt leading into each Crowded House couplet and Paul picking it up by sliding in on the high notes):

and I know I’m right
for the first time in my life

and that’s why I tell you:
you’d better be home soon

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