Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good Karma

Well, I've just returned from Denver, my new second home, visiting my friend Paul. I'm not sure where to start, or even what to say, as most of it wouldn't make sense to anyone anyway, except Paul and myself. But, fortunately, this time, I saw much more of Denver besides the inside of it's gay bars, which is enough fun itself, trust me. And we did do that, but we also ventured out a little bit more. Paul took me to several different vegetarian restaurants and we drank coffee every day at a coffee house in the more gay district of Denver. This fulfilling my more liberal side, I was also able, during Paul's nap, to run up to Urban Outifitters and spend more money on tee shirts than I needed to spend, but you only live once, and as my mother used to always say, you can sleep when your dead. Which brings me to the focus of Denver. Strange, that while I was there, I continued more and more to think of her. My mom. I really felt that she was with me the whole trip and usually I don't feel her presence at all. On Sunday, Paul and I drove up to Littleton to have dinner with my mom's friend Susie. It was strange, having never seen her house before, that it was as I had always imagined it. Her two daughters, Carrie and Dory, both pregnant and with their husbands, also came to dinner, and Susie was kind enough to make two lasagnas, one with meat and one vegetarian for Paul and I. And then there were the girls. Anyone that knows me, knows that I love being a child and I love the idea of children, but I do not do well with small children for an extended period of time. Paul on the other hand, being a father himself and a former art teacher, is excellent with children. Carrie's two daughters, Jessica and Emma, six and four respectively, also joined us for dinner, and Paul got right down on the floor and made lego houses and carnivals with the girls and also donned a pink wig and posed with the girls for a picture. His highlight was when we were outside, and Emma, who took to me instantly, and I'm not sure why since I wasn't playing games, looked at me and said, "Do you want to play tag?" and I responded, "Not now honey, I'm smoking." I live in the mind of a nine year old, just with different rules I guess. Or was I smoking at nine? Hmmmm...That story might need to wait for further discretion. Susie called us all into dinner, and Emma sat next to me, holding my hand, her head on my shoulder, while I ate. And I thought. I could do this. For about an hour or two. I couldn't be a father. But I could definitely be a good uncle. After dinner, Jessica wanted to play a song for me on the piano. I would be lying to say I was excited, but I dutifully went in to listen to her play. She sat at the piano and Susie stood behind her as Jessica thumped away and sang to "Oh When the Saints Go Marching In". And at the end, we clapped and she smiled. And then I asked her to play again. Because right next to her on the bench was my mother. She had always loved Carrie and Dory, so when Carrie had Jessica and Emma, their pictures were posted in my mother's house. And she was there on that piano bench, singing right along with her. I knew it. And I really had to choke it back to not cry. It was literally the most innocent thing I had seen in a long time. And I longed to be six again, getting ready for bed at 7pm to go to school the next day, being read "Go Dog Go" or "Little Bear". And I really missed her. My mom. Who had given me such a great childhood. I won't for one second act like she was perfect, because she wasn't. She was crazed at times, drank too much until she got sober 14 years ago and pitied herself until the end. But with me, she was different. I was forever six to her, reading books, gifts from Santa, calling me telling me about the snow outside or wasn't a thunderstorm beautiful. It was funny, because last October, Susie came to visit and I went to my mom's to see her. They became enraged and excited about the prospect of a woman as president and why I wouldn't vote for her, I'll never forget. At the time, I had wanted Shawn to come and meet Susie, but he had to work late, so he couldn't come. But I remember getting home and beginning to sob because I thought it might be the last time I would ever see Susie because she and my mother were getting older and Susie doesn't come to visit as often as she had in the past. And now, in retrospect, it's my mother who isn't around anymore. And she should have really been there that day. And she would have loved those girls. And so, I will love them. Who wouldn't. Their amazing. And the next day, Susie called me and said, "Emma asked Carrie if you could come over and play. She said you were her new best friend and she wanted to introduce you to her friend Ian." I got off the phone and sat on my bed and cried a little bit. Not out of sadness. But for that innocence. And everyone can use a new best friend. So really, that's what my week was about. A remembrance of things past. Of my childhood. Of my mother. Of good friends. Of really good coffee and putting out there what you want to get back. Of deciding what it is that matters most. When I got home today, I walked in the door and two seconds later heard someone knocking. I ran down the stairs and opened the door and two of my closest friends, Tonya and Abby were standing there smiling. They instantly gave me hugs and told me to come with them and get a fountain coke and smoke a cigarette. We drove around, telling stories, drinking our sodas and smoking, and I felt home again. And I remembered telling Paul earlier in the week, after our dinner with Susie, that I wished that all of my favorite people and places were within the same city limits, and I would never leave. Unfortunately, that's not how it works though. But Paul and Susie are in Denver. As is my goddaughter Sybil, and the girls. And all of those damn, fine gay, earthy men, with beards and baseball hats, sitting drinking coffee and reading the paper. And so I'll probably go back soon I guess. And I put a few dollars in that old jar, every day, just in case. Cause you know, you just never know. And yes, I do want some good mojo!

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