Thursday, June 7, 2018

Take What You Want and Leave the Rest

Being ridiculously happy seems to leave little time to blog.

It's not like I'm not still doing stuff because of course I am. After all, I'm me, so how could I not?

After a meal in service of my hired mouth, Mac and I went to the Basement to see TheatreLab's production of "Topdog/Underdog," marveling at the tightly wound performances of Jeremy Morris and Jamar Jones as brothers with issues in the Pulitzer prize-winning play.

The production clocked in at a hefty two hours and 45 minutes (I knew I had that padding for a reason) and I thought Mac might have to dip out at intermission because of having to go to work early tomorrow, but instead she admitted how sucked in she was by such compelling performances.

Props to first-time director Katrinah Carol Lewis for providing her actors enough room to the create full, albeit flawed, characters before us.

Granted, we walked out of there feeling as if we'd been beat up, but truly great theater is always affecting in some way.

I finally made it to Goatocado, notable for the killer Tuscan arepa (Oaxacan cheese, red pepper, greens, guac and corn in a corn cake) I ate along with a pomegranate ginger-ade, but also for the 50 minutes it took some hapless, young employee to hang the canvas triangles that provided the scant shade on a sunny, blue sky day.

After ten minutes, I was feeling his pain because he was out there in the blinding sunlight without sunglasses. When I questioned the wisdom of that move, he explained that he didn't like clipping sunshades to his regular glasses. But isn't it excruciating to be out here with no sunglasses?

"I'm thinking next time I get glasses, I'll get that kind that darkens in the sun," he explained. "You know, 'cause I don't want to get cataracts." How cute is that?

And for the record, he hung and rehung those triangles unsuccessfully and repeatedly, finally asking two fellow employees to help - one to hook the pieces and the other more knowledgeable one to direct - for over 50 minutes before they were hung properly. Meanwhile, customers like us who wanted to eat outside (inside was full) had a choice of minimal shade or no shade, not the best options on a bright June day at high noon.

Fifty minutes. Have I mentioned that I weep for the future?

Lady G had finally re-surfaced and since our last rendezvous had been March 30, we were in dire need of a blather. Her suggestion was Lemaire at the Jefferson, fine by me as long as we ate outside on the patio and not inside with the business stuffy clientele.

Our table afforded a view of Franklin Street and featured a music speaker that looked like a rock in the flower bed adjacent to us. Yea, it was corny and kind of Flintstones-like, but, hey, it worked, turning the miscellaneous noises of the city into background for the jazz that was playing.

Because our time apart had encompassed April and May, Lady G insisted that it was a birthday celebration and let me choose the bottle: Argyle Brut Rose from a winery I'd visited. And while it took an inordinate amount of time to arrive (it appeared to be our server's first night and he was doing his best, at least at joking with us), it was worth the wait.

When our young server made the rookie mistake of placing the stand holding the wine near the outdoor server's station rather than tableside and G's glass went dry, she did what any self-respecting woman does: walked over, took possession of the stand and bottle and set them in their rightful place within easy reach of us.

The five-top table of young millennial women next to us knew they were in the presence of greatness. "We applaud you taking control!" one called out as the others clapped.

Someday you, too, will just take what you want, grasshopper.

We swapped updates over chilled English pea soup, crispy fried deviled eggs with cornichons and red pepper jelly and Pernod-steamed mussels with apple, fennel and chorizo while we watched people sit down and wait 20 minutes for anything more than water. Luckily, we were in no hurry, not with all the life evaluating we had going on at the table.

At one point, our charming server arrived unexpectedly and a tad out of breath, smiling and saying apropos of nothing, "I've missed you both so." What can you do but crack up at that? At the very least, a sense of humor is essential in the service industry.

We ended the evening on my balcony, where Lady G's birthday gift to me - a bottle of Chateau Kalian 2015 Monbazillac, an organic dessert wine with gorgeous notes of orange and lemon, but also with nice acidity - was opened and sipped chilled as dusk descended on Jackson Ward.

As she does every time she's on my balcony, she commented on some of the high-up architectural details on the house next door. The kind of flourishes barely visible from the street, but striking from mere feet away on the second floor. The kind of thing an artist notices and that's what Lady G is.

She and I have been swapping stories and keeping each other abreast of where the bodies are buried for two decades now, and if that's not worth toasting, I don't know what is.

Check that. Also worth celebrating is finding someone who keeps me so busy talking, laughing and traveling that blogging is all but forgotten.

Sorry/not sorry. Happiness and devoted attention, I have missed you both so.

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