Saturday, January 07, 2006

grains of sand

It’s long past midnight and I am writing a post about a movie. I don’t typically write posts about movies, but the four of us were dazed by Brokeback Mountain. Agreement is rare among this very opinionated group. Worth savoring. And so I write. Quick notes, keeping me awake. Except that I would be awake anyway.

Have you taken to liking sweet wine? This one is just as…well, sweet, as the last you opened.
No, you could say that I’ve taken to buying cheap wine.

Hours later I am making blueberry pancakes. Do you want a second one? You have a long trip.

Why do we feel the need to eat for any journey? These are not the days of mules and horses pulling wagons past empty prairies. Still: please let me make you another batch.

In a few more hours the loft will be empty.

I park the car close to the back door. Many suitcases and boxes need to be loaded. These are post-holiday travels. I pause to look at the empty lot that stretches along the tracks, toward the lake. In the morning, the colors are gentle. If you sigh, it comess out as a gentle sigh, to match the peach in the sky.

Jan 06 036

The daughters are seasoned travelers. Well organized, prompt, they know the routines. We watch them take the escalator to the gate area. They turn the corner, out of view now.

My ex helps me at the loft. I have never in my life seen my ex sit back and do nothing when there are things to be done. The daughters’ room is going into sleep mode until their spring return. He puts away the last plate, the pan after the blueberry pancakes. I take him to the Chicago bus.

Echo Tap, Findorff Yard, Electric Earth Café – names given to mixes put together by a daughter for much of our car travel this winter break. They’re names taken from notable places around the loft: a bar-dive, a café we like to make fun of, the construction company that gutted and rebuilt the lofts where I live. Mixes that I don’t want to listen to this morning.

I break my glasses. Damn! I don’t have a valid prescription. I spend the afternoon at the mall, seeing an eye doctor. I did the same thing three years ago. My eyes are peered at by men who see dozens of patients a day, only once, never after. Transient doctors, never staying long here, in this commercial crazyhouse, working mall hours. The patients don’t ask for them by name. Next available, like at a grocery store checkout line.

Waiting for the glasses, I walk over to Barnes & Noble. I want books for little tikes that I am to visit tomorrow. I am drawn to familiar volumes. Can’t say that they’re perky titles. Can’t say these are perky times.

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Long lines for everything. I haven’t showered yet. How can I be out and about wearing skuzzy clothes with yesterday’s lotion on my hands?

On the drive back to the now empty loft I dare put on a CD mix. I am used to sadness. If you look at the hourglass, where sand is changing compartments, you can see how tight things are there in the transition from one to the other. Then the sand settles in an easy way in the lower chamber. I’m in that bottleneck of grains passing tightly around me. They’ll settle down. I’ll settle down. It’s always like that.

run with the sheep

Opening night in Madison. The late late showing. Double screens. Packed audience. A TV camera taking in the long lines to get in. Tickets purchased ahead of time. Seats? Hard to find in a group.

I’m tired. One cup of coffee before. Typically not enough. Dark room. Sheep, mountains, beautiful sky on the screen.

No. No nap this time. Heath Ledger's performance is riveting. Totally.

Complete silence in the theater. No one moves. Some predictable ohhhhhhhs when a shift in story occurs that is predictable. But even in the predictable there is shock. And the agony of watching someone else’s pain. So perfectly depicted.

Brokeback Mountain. If you don't find it to be absolutely stunning, you have some explaining to do.

See? Not a word about pommes frites.
I'm all over the blog map today.