Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ode to 4 chicks and a dude

Oh my goodness, the time is near. One chick and her dude are about to leave the H-town flow. Why would they want to go and break us up?

My stories are sometimes repeats of everything you already know, but I'm going to retell it anyway. Houston living has been a poof of magic that began on the 4th of July, 2004. That is when four people who really didn't know each other, save for some degrees of separation, had cause to move to this city beyond their better judegment and became instant, rollicking-good-time friends.

The Family

There is a tan, shuttered, two-story house with a red door that sits on the corner of one of Houston's tropically beautiful streets. This is our house, where we meet. The front room is blue, the kitchen white, but our favorite room is in the middle. We were all just there the other night for the Sopranos finale. Joel had spent the earlier part of the day making a Sopranos mix with songs either played on the show, about endings, or mobster-invoking. There was no fanfare about it. You had to clue in. When I heard Van Morrison's "Comfortably Numb" I thought of Christafah, tragic, putting-a-hit-on-your-lover Christafah, and I looked straight at Joel. I knew what he had done. The Sopranos previous episodes were playing in a loop to the soundtrack, the ladies started to roll in with bags of stuff, we were home.

Always give your love away

I have to write this one in stages, a little each day, like an ethnographer. It's cute the way we met, setting up dates to try each other on, but that's pretty typical. Michy, Ho, and me were tight from the beginning. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that our brothers, all three of them, have friendships that go back years--all the way back to the mall on West Campus. And we three have a great fondness for these brothers of ours. It was natural for us to be family. It took the other three girls a little longer to come around, first-year medical school for Steph and Heidi getting in the way. Mari hadn't even moved here yet. But once year two came around, the appeal of medical-school block parties, filled with prematurely mature, fastidious medical students lost its luster.

Adieu, adieu, adieu

It's almost time now. Last night we had our going away party. Sunday brunch in a few hours will be the last planned gathering. It's hard to say goodbye to your family even though you know your love won't change a bit. The people who fill up your day-to-days are the ones of envy because they get to have you more. Michy and Ho, we won't get to have you more anymore. We have to give you back to your people in Dallas, but we sure will miss you.

Friday, June 15, 2007

picture book

I looked through a box of pictures last night. Most of them span from ‘94 to ’02. A five-year gap tells me that digital has definitely put a damper on my picture box. It’s great to email photos, but the old-fashioned kind feel more life-like. I was looking for one picture in particular, of a past love. It was a spontaneous shot that a friend took as he and I were sitting in the grass. She liked to take her camera with her wherever she went, and one day she gave us a few of her shots from that day in the park. Sometimes one photo can tell you someone’s entire story. I don’t know if the picture would tell him, the past love, the same story as it does me, or even whether or not it would be a special one, with special meaning to him. It is for me. I remembered it last night and began digging for it.

I don’t organize my photos, other than a few from college graduation or big trips. The rest join the heap. I go through them one-by-one when the mood strikes. Last night the ones of Jeff and Bekkah stood out. The best ones were from the early days when Bekkah used to wear a long pony tail, slicked back, and the ones from trips I used to take to visit them in New York. Pages filled with so much energy that the memory of how it was in those moments came right back, I remember.

I’m tempted further through my life, my friends, all those people who are somewhere else now. I ran into the ex in the photo this February. I hadn’t seen him in about 7 years. When he walked in for some reason he looked left and I looked right toward him. In that one look it came back, our moments together, or just him. Time travels around inside us like a Ferris wheel, making stops mid-air. I found the picture I was looking for at the bottom of the heap.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Swishy ears

The baby fawn made it, and I was wrong about her age. She was only a few days old when her mom left her. My mom has seen her again on the porch that sits just before the edge of the greenbelt.

Who ever thought of such a thing as a greenbelt? They are grand and named well--snaking cricks, chalky, crumbling limestone rocks with loads of trees all around . . . Austin. So beautiful, my Austin. I went kayaking on Town Lake this weekend. We went to the spot I used to go to when I was a kid, right by where the Zilker train goes by. Little Gussy had to hop the tracks. He sat at the bow of the yellow boat, wondering why I was taking him somewhere strange again. But he liked it in the end and let his little ears swish in the wind.

Here is a poem.

burning bellies are tedious
and come out the blue

or a dream
that wasn't you.

someone else whispers secrets
to wide eyes

is it true!