Saturday, May 10, 2008

My moment

What a fine fine weekend.

Saturday morning. I'm up early, cruising up the 410 to Caledon; then it's country roads to Orangeville with the open window welcoming the breeze while the buzzing, hopping, Celtic East-coast fiddling of Quagmyre’s CD Of Cabbages and Kings invigorates like no other music I know.

Two Chai lattes and some very useful conversation with a few veteran members of the Headwaters Writers' Guild at the awesome new Joppa (fair-trade) Cafe. Then a drop-in on mom at Inglewood Antique Market where she and other dealers are hosting a jumbo 'garage sale'. I check out the old books but none appeal. This is good. Instinct dictates I need to be shedding possessions, not acquiring.

Hugs goodbye and it's back on the highway all the way to Stoney Creek where the I.S. and I go for a walk through three modest parks that are strung end to end between the apartment building in which Mom and I lived until I was five years old, and little Green Acres Elementary School where I attended kindergarten.

I hadn't made this trek since 35 years prior when I was making the round trip daily. Amazingly it seemed like little had changed. Just shrunk. The creek that once presented a challenge to cross, hopping rock to rock, and bestowed more than a few soakers, now looked beatable with a single leap; a test made obsolete by the new paved path and tiny bridge. The trees seemed the same height and girth but perhaps we've each grown in sync. The school looks tiny. I was tempted to peer through the classroom windows but resisted. One memory shall be preserved. My kindergarten room remains a palace.

We sat on a park bench in still, quiet, near-isolation; tall trees protecting on all sides. Joggers, bicyclists and dog-walkers were oddly scarce despite the marvelous weather. I lay my hand on an inviting shoulder. Our heads reclined. I smelled my favorite scent; some shampoo I cannot name. We looked up through leafless branches at a cloudless sky. We spoke quietly and with easy honesty. The simple circumstances of our lives. No big ideas. No promises.

I.S. spots the moon between the branches above us. Just a pale white crescent. I enjoy fielding the questions.

“Actually its orbit is continually slowing – not quite a second per year, I think. Eventually we’ll lock in a permanent mutual orbit and half the world will never see the moon again.”
“And half will always see it?”
“If there’s any life here to do the seeing, Yep. Did you know Earth used to have a ring?”
“Like Saturn?”
“Yes. But smaller.”
“No way! Where did it go?”
“We’re looking at it.”
“It became the moon?”
“It became the moon.”

I’m quizzed on the English language of course.

“Litter – as in garbage –
“I need much help with English still.”
“I hope you don’t get too good at it. I love your accent.”
“I know you do.”

I explain the differences between haste, hasty, hurry and

"Your hair's getting long," I say.
"Yes. I need haircut."
"I wish you wouldn't. I like it this way."
"You always like me however I am."

Almost everywhere else the trees are green but above us the branches are just budding. The sky beyond is perfectly clear, electric; the essence of blue. The nape of neck is warm on my fingertips. If we could choose one moment from our lives to become our eternity… If there were a heaven… this moment…

Miraculously this moment lasts for almost two hours and for that time I feel like the luckiest man on Earth. We’re slow parting. Several false starts. That’s always the way.

No answer at Plonk and Vino’s. It’s dinner time and I’m ravenous having eaten only a bagel all day. I assume they’re still in Hooterville visiting the daughters or else getting their own dinner. East Side Mario’s is a poor choice but I succumb. The bottle of wine is another poor choice as is the dessert.

But today is not the day to break a promise to someone I love. I push the dessert away. I just take a photo of it. Perhaps I’ll carry the image with me in my wallet or shirt pocket. Let it serve as a reminder. As inspiration.


Anonymous said...

Sweet Rich. I could almost feel the breeze and the hardness of the bench on my ass.

Don't know why, I just almost could lol.

Anonymous said...

simply said, depression

Fantasy Writer Guy said...

Moon - Thanks for answering my question. I urge you to keep writing about it.

Supermom - The bench indeed seemed hard after a while. And one of the three slats was missing.

Kathleen said...

Holy cow, that was beautifully written. You have a way with words, FWG.

IS sounds adorable.