Monday, November 28, 2005


for my friend todd.

red thermos cups shelter our candles burning
under the roof of a lodge, even as rain drips down
from the black expanse above,
on the periphery of our shared sacred space,
a smell of warm vanilla mingles with sniffles
coming from the girl in a black quilted jacket

we stand united, in the form of a circle,
present, to remember you in all your greatness,
you who beat to a rhythm indiscernible to the keenest of ears
a whiteboard taped with photos of you, part of our circle,
showing you sometimes annoyed, but mostly impish
in grins strung out across your face, as if the joke is on us.
we assemble in part to make sense of the tragedy,
yes, no other word encapsulates what has befallen us,
and in the end, we congregate to say goodbye.

my jaw aches with a million tears bound within,
a pandora’s box that once opened, might be hard pressed,
to subside the fury and flurry of emotion that would be unleashed.
you made people at ease by meeting them where they were at,
everyone knew you so singularly and differently.
i recognize you in a chuckle bellowing out of the girl in fuzzy slippers
recounting a tale of painting the shadow of a chandelier on the wall-
did a shadow always follow you, or only recently did you see it,
crouching like a coward around the corner, looking ready to pounce
one moment set and sure,
the next mulling it over and dissipating like the last strands of fog.

i can see you, leaving your indelible marks in the mission
with a can of spray paint in one hand and a stencil carved with one word
G r a c e
leaving bits of yourself in a city that enjoyed your creative expression,
sprayed on surfaces already blessed with a mural, a tagline, part of a face-
your ability to bestow grace upon others, even as you neglected to share it
with yourself, grace and love and mercy, replaced by fear, anger, judgment, confusion?
culminating in a final knell.

i can’t surmise what your life looks like now,
whether you are crafting art and dispersing creativity in the divine realm
because i hear silence and what i see is a void.
it’s still this expansive, grandiose void,
where angels are not singing a silence remains,
but for the golden fields upon which a gentle breeze blows on.
yes, it blows on.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

on planning a wedding

what we thought was going to be a mere open house for a new space highlighting event planning turned out to be something much different in scope. i had easily convinced my friend cindy to accompany me to the open house. we expected great food (and were not disappointed by hazelnut crusted halibut with an arugula pesto over risotto-prepared pearl barley) and wanted to encourage and support a friend who put on the bash, as well as a smidge of networking for work.

we started by visiting the champagne table and then quickly realized that the open house had a wedding focus... to be cordial and not look like we were just there for the eats, cindy and i walked around to the various tables and schmoozed. the first table consisted of a wedding videographer. apparently my makeshift interest was too believable because the rep. gave us his undivided attention and asked, "Are you two engaged?" which of course made me sputter out a laugh.

"oh no."
"married, then?"
"no, not that either."
"well feel free to sign up for a free dvd of a wedding i shot, you never know, a wedding could be closer than you think."

it took every ounce of convincing my late-twentysomething body not to emit its childish you've-got-to-be-kidding-i'm-getting-marriage-advice-from-a-videographer laugh from expelling out of my body. A LOT of effort. after repeated cajolings from him, i finally signed up. which means i will be getting some random person's wedding dvd sent to me soon. *hot flash*

we walked around and i made some great contacts for work. at one table were these uber-hip, amazing cards by a company called hellolucky; saw some amazing photo albums at blonde tulip's table; and discussed the travails and challenges of event planning with a woman 6 months pregnant. we also tried a green tea and chai cake with a ginger crisp layer in it that was notable. citizen cake had brought cute little mini cupcakes of the passion fruit/lemon/vanilla/chocolate mint variety, and we hung out with our friends at their table as well as scamming food for them from the servers walking between all the rooms, carrying trays laden with small plates.

as cindy and i exited the building, we stood under the awning watching rain drip down from the sky, like a faucet accidentally left on. in front of me, i saw a little white stripe against a black background, which i knew to be a skunk. cindy and i made a mad dash in the rain, carrying our "gift bags" filled with things like "the bride guide" and other goodies we would need this very hour. the skunk had now proceeded to leave the sanctuary of the tree and was coming our way, out onto the sidewalk. i warned her that if the skunk sprayed us it would be all her fault. and we would smell like tomato juice for several months.

i wonder about skunks. they're really cute, but awfully skittish. when they get scared, that's when they release their deathly aroma. perhaps i'm part skunk and it accounts for the sheer volume of suitors, rapping on my door. but then i think how happy i am to have some chocolate in my tummy and be indoors, knowing i don't have to go back out in the rain until tomorrow morning. and that's a good thing that doesn't require tulle.

Monday, November 07, 2005

fuzzy teeth and all

i don't typically discuss these sorts of things on here because i do not see it as some sort of forum for discussions of topics bordering on the romantically relational. but tonight i went to hang out and see a friend, russ who is in town visiting from, accompanied by many old school friends.

it turned out to be the kind of affair where it's like trying to get an appointment with the dalai lama. so, apart from commenting on the color of the ganges and hearing a snippet about butter tea our communication was very limited.

i sat next to an old friend bill with his uber-cute one year old, gabriel. as we are updating each other on our lives, casually he interjects and asks if i'm married. just like that. usually it's the "are you dating anyone" question, which is great fun in addressing and coming up with creative novel versions of answers. it's kind of weird, as if i am trying to justify why i am not inclined at the moment. as if my life doesn't have validation just as is. later on i emerge from the bathroom and bill is standing there. as i'm trying to decide if i want to sidle my way back into the booth, some random friend of my "lama" friend asks if i am bill's wife. awkward moment in my head, i say no, we are old school friends. but then he has to insert, "though she's sexy enough." and my face turns 10 shades of purple.

later, at the other end of the table, i am sitting by stacey, elijah, larissa and glen, as three guys from school walk in. one of them mentions a date january 6th and of course back in my grad. school days this would mean marriage. and sure enough he is getting married. this is the guy who has refused to brush his teeth for the last seven years. he has fuzzy teeth that i am sure are ridged with plaque and funk and he's on his way down the altar. which means he has found someone who is willing to love him and kiss him in spite of having fuzzy teeth. wow.

so now i am contemplating my singleness in a new way. a little horrified and mystified that the playing field is narrowing. and i have become adept for the most part of shouldering my one status well. because there is a country that looms ahead, grabbing my attention, on which my eyes are affixed, against all others.

and yet mr. fuzzy teeth has met his match. what is the world coming to?