Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Barefoot on the Balcony

Is it a tangent of Murphy's Law that says that just when something's in reach, something else intervenes?

This week is the pre-vacation sprint to accomplish All the Things and not just all the beach preparations, but all the assignments that will come due while I'm gone (this hired mouth has eaten a dozen meals for the cause this month), all the arrangements for going away, all the little things that need to be picked up pre-departure and so on.

I awoke this morning knowing I could handily knock out the last of a review before starting and finishing one of the arts pieces today. Once I polished off my last assignment tomorrow, I'd be able to move onto less cerebral things.

Greeting me in my inbox four hours later was a 6:35 a.m. email from an editor asking for a multi-interview piece due smack in the middle of vacation. Compelling subject matter aside, of course, I want the assignment.

Fast forward to the end of a crazy busy, non stop day (I had so much to write that taking a break to hem a dress or go to the grocery store felt like skipping class) and I'm getting ready to meet a friend for a movie.

Out of the radio comes Michelle Shocked's "Come a Long Way," an upbeat classic '90s gem I haven't heard in forever that, at that moment, felt like a celebration of finishing as much as I did, so I'm not entirely certain if the dancing that ensued was the song itself or the satisfaction of a productive day.

Always up for an occasion, Pru showed up with a Bon Voyage card inscribed, "Wear It!" and the gift of a red "Kiss Me, You Fool" lipstick, part of her ongoing campaign to make a real woman out of me. Before she'd arrived, I'd fashioned a necklace to impress her for the very same reason.

There was also a bag of Tootsie Rolls, which spoke to our more immediate plans.

My second viewing of "Love & Friendship" at the Criterion allowed me the opportunity to pay less attention to Jane Austen's comedy of manners and more to sets (sumptuous), costumes (wildly colorful) and nuances of performance.

Even better, I was able to catch a few choice bon mots I'd missed when I'd first seen it alone.

The row of 20-something women behind us squawked in displeasure when Sir James (the unintended) explained that it's understandable that men may stray because of their biology, but that it's inconceivable that a woman might do the same, preposterous, even.

As if this attitude didn't still perpetuate itself today in some ways.

Fabulous as the film was again, by far the best part of the night was afterward, ensconced on my balcony for the breezes, Isaac Hayes and Marvin Gaye playing on my archaic blue boombox and the two of us looking marvelous by the glow of candlelight as we sipped, dissected and reassessed to the sounds of J-Ward by night.

I have come a long way, but if I manage to finish all this work before vacation, it'll be a miracle and I'll be the fool wearing the red lipstick trying to do it.

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