Sunday, June 18, 2006

How Can You Catch the Sparrow?

Horoscopically speaking, I was supposed to be deliriously happy Friday and who was I to argue with the cosmos even as the police cars raced into my apartment complex while I was leaving for work. Sure, I was curious but I decided to think about how some lucky people get to disrupt whole neighborhoods before breakfast with lights and sirens.

Midmorning, I drove out to a university farm in either East Brunswick or Milltown, depending on which of those "Welcome to..." signs is a bold-faced liar. Trout bought a share in an agricultural program wherein undergrads and and grads study growing stuff by growing stuff and once a week during the season picking stuff, which civilians pick up and convert from a weekly quiz into salads and seasonal herbs. It's a popular program, especially since you don't have to be affiliated with the university or drive a Volvo to buy in. Anyway, the sun was shining, the air was warm, my car was moving smoothly with traffic and a simple, meaningless song was playing on the radio. You have had a moment like this. One hot summer night twenty years ago, I was in the Melody Bar with Johnny and some other friends. The whole place was a dance floor that night. People danced on the stairs, in doorways and at the bars. It was utterly fantastic to feel young and beautiful, to dance to song after song we loved or had never heard before but it didn't matter which with the heat, the booze, the flowing bodies, and after hours of this thrilling, sweaty trance and just before three, the DJ's last song proved a silly, perfect surprise: the Monkees' I'm A Believer. As one, everyone turned back to the people they were dancing with, laughing, and yes, what could one hope for on the dance floor at three but this simple faith in love, a song from our childhoods, but this gorgeous sense that this three minutes could be no more full and we could be no more alive? And Friday, with the sun shining, the air warm, the car moving smoothly and Billy Idol's Mony Mony playing, I felt enchanted and free, buoyant and timeless - as if I could be no more myself, filled with simple joi de vivre, than I was at that moment. Then I turned in the farm's driveway and was greeted by a young woman dressed in a fake fur Pebbles outfit, causing me such Unexpected Costume Glee I could only stand in the shade, jumping up and down. Back at work, one of my co-workers sent the daily absence list around and I was on it for half a vacation day I'd totally forgotten I had to take, so I went home and opened my windows to let in the afternoon breezes. A friend was arriving in on an afternoon train. We were meeting up with the - cough! cough! - editorial board of Blanton's And Ashton's for refreshing adult beverages later. I baked cookies for a party, washed clothes, polished my nails and watched soap operas. That's my surreally joyful Friday. I am having an exceptionally happy weekend, all in all, and as I write this I'm sitting in the family store, surrounded by pretty things that smell great while the Dixie Chicks play on the stereo.

It's not realistic to assume that tomorrow I'll feel as good, or that good days in a row mean life is generally improving. Next week: I have three days off work and a family wedding two states away. Don't worry. I'm assuming events will take a turn for the craptacular before breakfast. Too bad I don't have lights and sirens.


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