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12:11 p.m. - 2010-07-12
And how was your weekend?

One thing I discovered this weekend I actually found out when I got back home. Having things lying around in a neat and tidy way is NOT the same as those things being put away. I can see I will be spending the next few days finding real homes for stuff and putting it away. On shelves, in closets and cabinets, on newly bought hooks and in spandy new bins. Right now my house is barely controlled chaos.

Darling Deb's house is a serene oasis.

She might argue, in fact I know she would, and protest about the odds-n-ends stack in her utility room and how, of course, she'd cleaned for company, but her lovely home reminded me of what my house used to be like before the crud piled up. Insidious, my tidy crud, absolutely insidious.

Anyhow, the weekend.

I love traveling alone. That's another thing which had slowly leaked out of my life unnoticed until this weekend. The pure singing pleasure of the solo adventure. I do want someone to be waiting for me at the other end, a welcoming happy face and open arms when I step off the train or emerge from the seethe at an airport gate is the best feeling ever, but I really and truly love traveling by myself. As some people like horror movies or roller coasters, I enjoy the mild anxiety of getting to the correct platform, finding the right gate, making the connection between flights or having to change trains. Like when the house lights go down or the safety bar clicks in place over your shoulders, beneath the squirt of fear about what's to come you know ultimately that you'll be okay. So it is with the anxious gnaw of, "Where's track 14?" "What did they mean there will be 'a slight delay'?? I have to catch the 3:45 puddle jumper out of Detroit!" Deep down I know I won't be stranded in Detroit (or Newark or Chicago) forever. There will be another train, another flight. And when I do settle into my seat after that successful transfer it's always with a smile and a pleased rush of accomplishment, "Ahhh…made it!" All is well and I'm on my way.

Getting there- Chapter One

So I was in the Amtrak holding area in Penn Station waiting for my train to Baltimore doing word puzzles and jamming to the tunes coming from my iPod. I've forced myself to remember NOT to sing along (how awful for those around me to have to endure my horrendous singing without even the mild anesthetic of hearing the real music too) but realized I hadn't schooled myself not to chair dance. Crap! I quickly stilled my bobbing head and jingling feet suddenly morbidly aware that everyone has a phone that shoots video. Not wanting to end up a viral net doofus on Get A Load Of This, a middle-aged Numa Numa chick caught on someone else's candid camera and my antics the butt end of a million forwarded office jokes, I made myself sit still and hoped like hell I hadn't already been zapped.

I had another iPod moment later that day. Somewhere north of Philly the train gave a lurch and I looked up from my book. Outside the windows was an alien eerily still industrial zone. At one time it might have been a busy productive place full of hard-hatted men with tin lunch pails, but now it was as empty of life as the moon. A Snow Patrol song cued up just then and it was the perfect piece to go with those not yet totally derelict grim abandoned work yards, silent factories and nameless warehouses. It was freakily cinematic. That almost dystopian view slowly sliding past the train windows, the music an ode to the shrugging dispassionate acceptance that life sucks and then you die alone…wow.

Cinephile and POV observer of my life rather than active participant, thanks to my iPod my life now has the movie score I've always believed it should have.

Jeeze, LA, you ever gonna get around to telling us what you did this weekend or what?

I will. I am. I'm a Storyteller, a dream weaver, not a secretary taking the minutes of a meeting and then barfing them back up in neat type with bullet points. As I already warned Best Babe and Deb on Friday night while we feasted on scrumptious Mexican food and pitchers of sweetly tart margaritas, what I'd say about our time together might bear little resemblance to what they thought was happening. Most excellent women that they are, they nodded and understood.

Being There- The Actuality

While I'm at the Mexican place…B.B. and I (though this be our first 3-D meeting) began finishing each other's sentences and chiming book and movie quotes in unrehearsed unison. I knew then she and I were the excitable electrons and our Deb was the stable nucleus we orbited. Without the loving generosity of our grounding steadfast friend B.B. and I would probably ping off into space to burn out in some unnamed galaxy. Loose erratics, our Deb gently draws us back and shows us the path, puts our zippy boinging to a purpose that benefits our own lives. How I love her for this! I get the feeling sometimes Deb secretly believes she's a Hufflepuff or even a Squib, but Deb is all things wise and brave, smart and loving. The Sorting Hat would wrestle a long, long time with Deb. Well, it would instantly dismiss Slytherin, despite a wickedly astute eye for character Deb is not evil or unkind or self-serving in any way. Yes, she believes in doing a thorough job and not being a show-off about it, but she also has the ferocious courage of a Gryffindor and the sagacity of a Ravenclaw. Good luck with that one, Sorting Hat.

One of the things I am most grateful to Deb for is how she makes me want to be a more useful person (especially to myself) without ever making me feel like a frivolous beastie who could use a swift kick in the pants and a reality check the size of Rhode Island.

Saturday morning Deb fixed us a top notch breakfast and after our ablutions got Mary on the horn and arranged for her to come over. She did and hugging another of my life's Fabulous Grace Note Friends was sooooo good! (What I did besides start this weird little word farm on the net to deserve the richness of friends it's gathered for me, I do not know, but I'm forever grateful.) Oy, the fates have handed Mary a shit bucket slopping over these last few months and my heart has hurt for and with her, but it made no nevermind to the delight of her company. Laugh? Holy crow, how we laughed! Mary hasn't been married to my 2nd favorite Irishman for 30 years to no purpose. Besides being a damn fine Storyteller in her own right, our Red Nose has absorbed the wholly Gaelic talent for telling a tale that makes you shriek with giggles as the tears roll and weep a little as you wet your pants laughing.

We took off for lunch at a fab BBQ joint and continued to laugh and swap stories while we gorged on amazing pulled pork and brisket. I had a laugh at myself because it drove the final nail home about how spoiled I've become living with Mick. I noticed it first at the Mexican place when I couldn't even eat half of what I'd ordered. My inner tightwad has become accustomed to ordering whatever the hell I want because there is NO waste when dining with Mick. I can nibble, sample and nosh as I will and then hand the rest over to Mick without a qualm. It'll get eaten. I'm not paying for food that gets scraped into the garbage. Not so with my friends who had their own damn food to contend with. Not a one of them was interested in finishing my plate for me.

I do NOT play that asinine girlie game of "Who Can Eat The Least?" I hate that shit. Like those chicks who barely nibble a lettuce leaf in public aren't going home and eating a roasted boar in private. Bah! That irks the ever loving crap out of me. But truly I have the eating habits of an anaconda. I tend to swallow an entire goat and then spend the next four days digesting. Three hots a day is beyond me. Too many years of modeling, too chancy of a childhood where food (and its absence) were used as discipline tools. Thanks to Mick eating 80% of my meals I pretend I'm a normal person who can treat food like fuel, a regularly administered necessity to keep the bod running, but in reality my eating is as disordered as ever. And being with normal people who eat more than once every few days was weird.

Totally not weird was sitting in an actual remodeled farmhouse roadhouse dive bar listening to killer rock-n-roll played by some of B.B.'s buddies. These guys play for the love of it. All married, all gainfully employed during the day, all of an age where they live in the real world and are happy about it, being an exuberant cover band isn't a stepping stone to other things. It isn't to score chicks. It isn't the half angry/half hoping pathetic nonsense of most of Mo's failed wanna be musician friends, these guys rock like other guys build model trains or paint their bellies and do drunken Rockettes routines in sports stadiums, they play because it does them good.

Did me good too. It was wonderful to get out and see some well-played live music, people watch, drink a couple beers, and as ever, laugh with my pals and remember why we're on this dopey ball of mud in the first place.


Love of music. Love of Life. Love of good friends. Love of the taste of a cold beer and hot wings. Love of knowing all the words and singing along.

Love of remembering who we used to be and believed we would become. Love of being where we are now. Love of the future and still being hopeful and eager about what's to come.

That's what I did this weekend. I loved. Am loved.

Is there more? Should we even ask for more?

I don't think so. ~LA

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