June 18th, 2007


Personal: Dinner with Diane Down Above the Lake

After boiling away in my apartment and then freezing my tailfeathers off in my overly air-conditioned cubicle at the library, I finished dissertating for the evening and had a made-to-order, perfectly relaxing rest of the night. I had a Father's Day chat with Dad, filled him in on the most recent news, and said farewell until we see one another at my nieces' dual-birthday this coming weekend. Then, over at Diane's on the East Side, where she had moved upstairs to a slightly larger studio in her building, we grabbed popcicles and walked and slurpped over to the MetroMart to grab some dinner. That place is my favourite supermarket in the city, with a huge deli that is always tempting me with ready-made goodness.

Soon we had a bag with fried chicken, apples, bread, cheese, some über-tart "Citrus Bomb" juice and a bottle of Chianti. We made our way (after having to go back to her place to collect a knife and corkscrew) in the increasing dusk over to Juneau Park where we grabbed a table above the Lake and Art Museum and ate and talked quietly until sometime after eleven. We hadn't hung out now in about two weeks, and so it was just what I needed. Diane is one of those people who manages to say all sorts of sensible things to you that you don't seem to hear anywhere else. So along with much wineful laughter, I get to walk away with a good headful of new perspectives.

I had been on the edge of a melancholy, with some of the music that I'd been hearing at the Library while I worked on correcting my bibliography threatening to lead me in that direction: youthful throwbacks like Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" and contemporary songwriting gems like weaklingrecords' "So Far Away". Music has that power with me, with all of us, maybe, and I've learned to both glory in that power, and also to respect it – to see when music helps reveal things going on inside of me that I wasn't aware of, but also to know when to step away from certain music that might take me someplace emotionally that my circumstances don't actually demand. So long, food- and wine-drenched conversation with an old friend was the perfect thing tonight to let me know that the balance in the universe is actually a pretty good one for my life. As my Dad simply put it to me tonight when I told him my plans: "It's good to have friends."