Thursday, December 11, 2008

I loved you when you lost your raincoat, I'll love you when you lose your fear

If not the most romantic words than certainly in the running.
Once in Seattle a man named Ron (something I will track down for it's important) was playing music on the street and I stopped to listen. It was, of course, drizzling as Seattle must and it was a day I had been on my own as my travel partner was part of a conference. My days were long and wonderfully-so full of museums and such Rons as this who told me that he was playing "Laura" just for me and said something nice about my face and of course, there's the dollar/busker/compliment thing but we talked a long time after, mostly I listened about his life, his music. He was much older than I then, in his sixties, I think and his voice was rich and just rough enough to make it warm and full of life. I was young then and traveling with my first real boyfriend--a man who is still a good friend, whom I have seen now through both wedding and funeral of a wife so much more his own than I ever was. Every few days we talk and he talks about what it means to know someone that well, to open up to someone knowing that they will leave and it will hurt insanely. I keep thinking about how that world-wise girl I was knew nothing about people-stuff but running into new places, she was all about that.
Anyway, the point is about how I felt so grown-up then with my big fat notebook in tow and with all the notes I took on the street, in museums, and later in Boston (same boyfriend, different conference) overlooking the Charles and I knew then that I was finding out who my character would be and where the story would be set and I thought then I knew so much about love and what it was and regret, I thought I had met it yet, and I hadn't. But I did know I loved cities. That for the heavy, too loyal ways I am with lovers, with cities I am their fickle harlot. I love them for the way they yield and all the ways they don't; for their warmth and their stormy, snippy weathers, for their ease and their utter inconveniences, their gracious welcomes and their surly indifference. I love one one week for this reason and next week, I'm all about another. There are constants, of course, New York, New Orleans, my own Salt Lake, but on any given day, my other favorite city is the one I'm currently falling in love with.

I've obviously had the city in mind for days and then today on the radio, I sat in the darkening parking lot of Volunteers of America Thrift Shop just to catch the end of this.

No comments: