The Green Mill,,,
who knew that a quick visit to the city would remind us all how to be such master thieves.
It was here that I was reminded that the only way to repay a kindness undeserved, is to begin, or perhaps remember, friendships that are unbridled, unashamed, and unforgettable,,,
The music glides through the air and makes it's short distance over to our table, "Capone's booth" as it is known. Slow as the music before us the sun is setting and the bar is darkening. The band is working hard to keep up with their overly talented singer. Set one glides by far to fast, as well as the first few rounds.
The music runs us through unbelievable highs and low, and the place feels like it's really waking up as the second set starts. More crowded, more life, more energy, and more enjoyment in this little (non-smoking) club that refuses to feel like anything but a smoky little room where secrets are being told. The music is moving us all in the direction that we came here to go. People become somehow more than the sum of their parts in this fragrant atmosphere that's every bit as tangible as the table that's holding my Gin and Tonic.
We sit, soaking up to power and joy of it all as we scribble down our would-be whispered confessions, apologies, and admirations.
Fresh out of the car the humidity and the smells begin to sink in. Beautiful church on the right, sculptures of broken swords and beautiful angels waiting me to find them. I'm looking forward though, not up, and then comes what I had so much earlier, and also later, come to love the smell of.
On my short walk, I had time to collect myself, prepare to be working with 'proper villains' again, but instead of thinking about what I'm going to say or do with the noders I'm walking to meet, I fall into the ebb and flow of the city. Hoping against the odds to catch it's very pulse against my fingertip
I didn't, not really at this point. I was too distracted by the beautiful afternoon. The smells of the garden mulch and the beautiful people, mostly just the beautiful people.
The city of Chicago does have a certain rhythm, especially in the summer. We hadn't seen our Jazz show yet, we were just remembering hello. And I didn't feel the pulse of the whole city against my fingers until it was almost time for goodbye.
Time for goodbye,,,
Maybe hello was better suited the moment I was living, walking towards the weekend in the company of friends old and new, but I couldn't help but wonder what lie waiting for me at home...
Decidedly in the swing of things by now. It's now that I learned all about how "Apples to Apples" is played. The games is going very well, we all have full stomachs and fuller hearts. Some play, some talk, some smoke, some investigate the mysteries of the newly invented measurement system, all present love, mostly each other.
The lightning comes to play, the clouds roll in being completely irreverent to our observances. Things are protected as droplets begin to fall, and some begin to fall away. The droplets increase and more return to comfort of a drier existence, I remain. I remember that the drive to refuse the inconvenience of your environment is the ultimate expression of humanity. I spend a moment or two with the storm, but sure enough I begin to miss you all.
Pushing hands to applause, pushing ourselves to be our very best selves, simply by being our best selves. No such thing as a lonely table in our midst, no such thing as a gift given here without thanks, and no such thing as an ordinary moment.
Hell has left us some cherries on the table and I am left to admit, I can't ever recall a time before when punching myself has ever been quite so enjoyable. New memories take root, while old ones shove aside and make way for them. Someone steals my spirit just long enough to make sure I get back so that I can lock it in a jar and save it for later. I look around the faces of my people, then the face of the clock and know that we've long since been done tearing the day to shreds.
Finally it becomes time to rest. Some go, and some stay. I melt, or perhaps unfurl on the floor, embracing the quiet. I lie for a few moments just processing the joy of what a day with good friends, good music, good humor, and a particularly good reason to be happy is like.
Waken to the morning feeling better than I have a right to. Spend a few moments learning how God is dead from a lovely book in the corner. Someone stirs to my left and wakes and again it begins. The two of us, alone in the room find Serenity for a couple of hours and then the rest of the house seems to stir almost at once.
We wake and hunger...
A new place, someplace I have never seen and don't seem to quite remember as well as I could. It must be time for us to be coming to close; I always seem to manage to let the memory of the endings slide away.
Time to look you in the eye
Time to give you all the time you need
Time to let you hold me, turn my cheek and accept your kiss.
All that was begged, borrowed or stolen must be returned. This is the moment when I am reminded with the most power why I come out to see such amazing and beautiful strangers. Thank you Noders, for being the most naturally generous, amazing, attractive and wonderful people I have the good fortune and privilege of knowing. You, the people I love, are what make me keep fighting.
We all hug, shake hands, accept our kisses on the cheek from our new mama. You see the happiness at being together, the awkwardness of leaving one another behind, and at least if you were to look in my eyes, you might see the wish for more time peeking out to greet all of you.
Hop a bus and bend Vanderwalls ear one last time. I talk of the family I am going back to. It would only seem silly to talk of the family I just left behind because, alas, it's time to fade back into the nodegel and of course to remember, I was already home.
Time to say goodbye,,,
Time to say goodbye,,,
NEVER SAY GOODBYE!