Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Friday, December 02, 2005

When Mistakes Go Unmade

Election Day 2000, a fateful day for all of us, but a slightly more fateful day for me, perhaps . . . almost to the day, five years ago . . . the past bites, it leaves welts, suppurating wounds . . . the past has four limbs, sharp claws, and a stare that could freeze lava.

D and I met at a Labor Day bar event, randomly, and solidifed our potentiality in a coincidence a couple of weeks later. But we weren't D and I, were't any significant Us, until Election Day, the day that Kristin came to town. Before then, since then, I have brought women to see Kristin . . . but only D, on the eve of Kristin's release of "Sunny Border Blue", in my humble opinion her tour de force, only that night, Rosebud in the Strip, that night, perfect but for the election dispute that was about to consume the country and captivate me, among thousands of young lawyer and aspirants, in what one can only call a constitutional crisis . . .

Tonight, Kristin played Club Cafe, and I knew enough not to bring a girl.

Tonight, Kristin was blonde again, her set list biased toward Throwing Muses, her voice strained until she warmed up, her frame diminutive, her expression consuming the room, disproportionately, powerfully.

I don't know what to say about her voice, or her stage presence, her self-effacing demeanor, her stories, except to say that they all were splendid.

Sometimes we are overwhelmed by our own gratitude, and sometimes this is prompted by what others might think of as trivial. Were it not for one person I very likely wouldn't know Kristin from a hole in the wall; were it not for D, I might not freight Kristin's each visit to Pittsburgh with enough weight to crumple one of Pittsburgh's many bridges.

So much is happening here, all in my head, and so I haven't been posting. This is not the time to explain my absence, though explain it I shall, as I imagine that I have an audience just big enough to warrant an explanation.

But the short verson of Me, Circa Now, goes something like this: work my ass off last week; escape to New Jersey with a day to spare; spend lots of NJ time contemplating things; come back delirious with introspection; work forty hours in four days to write a perfect document, twenty-six fair pages which will be shredded by The Boss by lunchtime tomorrow, after which I will have an hour or two to reassemble things in time for a deadline, still -- mind you -- buried in the aftermath of five days of introspection . . .

And amid the sturm and drang, a brief moment, Kristin, a new friend, the past so heavy bones bend under the burden.

And that's okay. Because in a quiet Club Cafe, amid a crowd so small it raises concerns that Kristin won't come back, I found peace, sanguinity, facing and staring down a complex of memories, and a simple gratitude to this character, sine qua non in so many ways.

Art teaches, art tortures, and it heals. It is. And for those of us who don't produce enough of it, being in its presence, pallid shadows, we gambol, because we must. We gambol. Because we can.

Simple things: I'm here. My past is here. My present, most affirmatively, is here. And I love. I really do. Intransitively. Just because.


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