Memories for myself: I thought I would do a series of vignettes over the next several days, just here and there, to record a few slices of my life at this point in time.
I'm driving to Borders to pick up Harry Potter for the Lovely Daughter, whose puffy cheeks with the pale blue bruises where her wisdom teeth used to be are causing increasing discomfort. It was a happy accident that we scheduled the surgery for the HP release date ~ she should be distracted for at least a few hours. I listen to part of an interview with Billy Bob Thornton on Morning Edition; I did not realize that he was a musician as well as an actor. I hear an ad for yet another event we are missing; there are also reasons for which having scheduled a child's surgery for a July week-end is most unfortunate. No Arlo Guthrie outdoors tonight, no Tchaikovsky outdoors tomorrow night, no Irish bands at the fairgrounds all week-end. Well ~ the weather is perfect for all the people who will actually get to go to those concerts.
I am about 12th in line as the store opens, with customers and clerks alike in a jovial frame of mind. I pick up a copy of The New Yorker as well, and head out to the car, where I stop to read the final pages of HP before tossing my package in the trunk. I can never settle down and enjoy a book with the ending still in question. So yes, I know what happens ~ and my lips are glued shut.
I wander across the parking lot to Wal-Mart, and then back to Office Max. I don't know what I am looking for, exactly ~ nothing, really. But it's a beautiful morning, hardly anyone is out and about, and I don't even mind the ugly parking lot and shopping center, products of an alarming failure of imagination on the part of our city fathers and mothers.
I drive to the bakery/coffee shop where I meet with a group of friends most Saturday mornings. Morning Edition is doing a piece on Sky Islands, those isolated groups of mountains between the huge lengths of the Rockies and the Sierra Madre ~ the Chiricahuas, the Catalinas, the Huachucas. It's a fascinating discussion on the efforts to preserve the extraordinarily diverse ecosystems that extend out of the desert as the altitude rises. I have explored several of the places they discuss and am immmediately transported back to sunny days in southeastern Arizona with our very young family, looking for hummingbirds, trogons, and zone-tailed hawks.
As anticipated, none of the regular group has appeared. A lot of people had obligations this morning. I do run into a friend leaving with her coffee, and we have a brief discussion about the movie Evening ~ she is the second of my friends to report that it is somewhat confusing ~ and universal health care, as occasioned by her having seen Michael Moore's Sicko.
I switch to a music station for the drive home. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young are singing Carry On, the music of my adolescence. It could be a crisp and sunny day in the Connecticut Valley instead of in the midwest. I wait for an inordinately long red light. The Beach Boys begin singing Wouldn't It Be Nice? Ah . . . a long ago mutual attraction never converted into even the beginnings of a romance. It makes no objective sense, but the Beach Boys and the Berkshires are forever connected in my mind.
And how exactly is it that I grew up NOT to live in western Massachusetts??????