Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I Wanna Hold Your Hand

In the end, all I want is to swear by you.
~ graffiti on pipeline walkway

[heartfelt sigh]

Today's walk along the pipeline walkway involved a guy in a hammock seductively hung from two trees by the river 's edge...tragically occupied on the phone rather than with his proximity to nature.

Crossing over to Brown's Island, I encountered a guy busy mopping his sweaty head every other step, yet with no hat on. After admitting that his dermatologist uses dry ice every six months to freeze off the pre-cancerous growths on his head, he allowed that he'd erred in grabbing his towel and ear buds and leaving his hat sitting on his desk.

Ya think?

Today's heat meant that my walk on the pipeline inevitably led to scrambling out over the rocks, the better to lower my feet into the cool, moving water. It was impossible not to notice the radically different water levels from barely two weeks ago, the recent abundance having already given way to trickles.

A letter from Sister #2 today brought this sentiment: Our lives are so different from what I expected and what Mom and Dad had.

Where do I even begin to respond to the comparison of what they found at 22 and 23 and what I still seek? She's married but seems to be admitting she's not as happy as she perceives our parents to be, but also that they retired in their early 50s.

Part of my afternoon winds up being devoted to explaining in letter form why we can't expect to find such luck in either arena at this late stage of the game to someone merely 13 months younger but far less accepting of our reality.

Fortunately, the disappointment of low river levels and relationship failures was forgotten when I met up with a favorite conversationalist for purely friendly dinner and drinks.

Our outing stayed in the neighborhood, specifically Quirk Hotel's "Dinner for Two" at Maple and Pine. In fact, our server informed us that we were the first to come in for dinner for two, resulting in him scrambling to come up with the appropriate menu and a liter of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc.

The music was spot on: Washed Out, Real Estate and other dreamy-sounding bands, while we munched through grilled eggplant with olive tapenade, feta, pine nuts and lentils as well as a green salad of radishes and green goddess dressing for starters.

We watched countless millennials come through the lobby only to have their IDs checked so they could take the elevator to the rooftop bar. A surprising number wore off-the-shoulder blouses, a fact which we took as a major fashion trend, albeit one that's come and gone countless times.

Discussion revolved around tomorrow's election, a beach getaway and overlapping music shows in the '80s (his with a smoker, not with each other) while we enjoyed fettuccine with pea shoot pesto, country ham, egg and Parmesan and roasted crispy-skinned chicken breast with potatoes and fennel.

Because the conversation was good -  it inevitably is, though we spend too little time engaged in it - we were halfway though carrot cake glazed with cinnamon creme anglaise before even dancing near the interesting topics, namely vacation possibilities, inept help and a ticket to Franz Ferdinand sold away for want of a man to use it.

Keeping to a neighborhood theme, we stopped into Yaki, the newest bar in Jackson Ward and one convenient to us both. The music was leaning toward late era R & B and several of the faces at the bar are usually found at their own bars.

It's while we're drinking Sicilian Rose, specifically Squadra Terre Siciliane Rosato (described on the menu as "bachelorette party in a glass but more reserved) that we politely skirt my preferred topics and instead settle on innocuous conversation to keep things on a purely platonic level. It's enjoyable if a tad safe.

In the meantime, I am fortunate to have a friend who makes me laugh (and occasionally snort) and better accept that my life is completely different than what I'd expected. Unfortunately.

The fault is mine, I would imagine. Here's to correcting that before I die and, like my parents, getting the chance to swear by someone who matters in the end .

Except I will say it and not spray paint it on a railroad support.

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