I would be a satisfied social being if I had one evening social commitment every week away from AeroKnow Museum. Most weeks, that’s exactly what I have. But when the calendar goes a little crazy with coincidence, so do I. Take this week, PLEASE.
The neighborhood association I helped organize more than 10 years ago and served as president (twice) vice president (twice) and secretary, thrice, was beginning to draw me back to it. A deletable explitive (I’ll call him Bill, his real name) was no longer at the helm, and I thought I might enjoy working with the new president. I was wrong. He’s as big a pain as the other one. On the other hand, both worked/work hard for the association. I had decided the meeting on the 13th would be my last for another few years, but I was mistaken. More important than personalities in a neighborhood association is the need to be an element of cohesion, rather than division. Personalities must come after organization prioriies. The horse’s patoot who appears to have left his or her brain at the door can still be an ally if I share a common goal. I’m still on the fence with this crew. I will try to attend for the rest of the year if I last that long.
The second commitment this week was to the poetry organization I’ve been a part of since before 1994. I’ve run hot and cold with this crowd. I have nothing left to prove as a poet or reciter of poetry I intended to attend as a goodbye gesture. I wore the “amazing technicolor sportcoat” I had worn when I emceed an open mic downtown . . . . just one last time I thought. Two things happened that put me on the fence again. A friend, a neighbor from across the steet and I chatted in a way that includes “respect” and approaches the affection and appreciation of “friendly” for the first time in a few months. All in all, it was the most enjoyable evening of this kind I’ve attended in about a year. I did not TEMPT FATE by ordering food this time. The last two dinners from the previous two months — sub-par, majorly: a sandwich that was dryer than the Saranghetti in summer and a chef salad with diced, rather than sliced meat and enough water from a fast wash and poor drainage of the lettuce to float a canoe. Last night I took no chances; I ordered no food. I savored three Samuel Adams bottled beers for $12 and a $3 tip and they were fine; just right. Next month when I am the big SIX FIVE, I will likely have more, but I had had my last meal there. I immensely enjoyed a prepared chef salad purchased Tuesday night from Shop N Save en route home from the museum.
I also didn’t take my camera, and I intentionally did not sit in my usual across-from-microphone-central seat where I had the best view for photography. Instead I sat with my friend, former Pacific War LST helmsman, then school teacher then school principal, the honorable Ken Sibley whom I respect more than any man alive today. I also respect women, but that’s another Honey & Quinine. In the past, I’ve never photographed people whose ways with a microphone made me want to puke in my salad b0wl. I decided it’s better to encourage participants by not distract any of them: ”the good, the bad and the ‘does the zoo keeper know you’ve escapted?’” So I didn’t even bring my camera to the evvent last night. THAT was a good move. One fewer distraction for me as well. And I tried EARNESTLY to HEAR and APPRECIATE the poetry the people were sharing. I enjoyed most of what I could hear. At one time in the evening, before I shared from microphone central, I planned to gurgitate my HUMBLE OPINION that I would rather HEAR BAD POETRY than NOT QUITE HEAR Springfield’s newest Shakespeare. I kept that opinion to myself. I was satisfied with what I shared and I think most of the audience was as well. I did not mention my birthday and did not mention that Wednesday was probably the last time most of them will ever see me. No need to generate concern for a circumstance that probably won’t happen anyway. If I am around on the third Wednesday of September, I will likely attend, participate, and try to be nice.
Today, all I want to do is go home after maybe a half hour at the airport museum. It’s been raining a lot of the day (THANK YOU oh BENEFICENT SKY!) and I’m perspiring in high humidity and moderate heat like I’ve been moving furniture all day, which I haven’t. I’m tired. I want to watch a ball game, eat another salad from Shop N Save and swallow me some Burgundy. But I’ve deccided to be a friend to a friend. I promised him last night I’d attend this event tonight and take pictures of him and his music group Bosso Azul. I was invited by an organizer to recite poetry between music acts. I was one of the music acts (guitar and folksinging and my own songs too) at the July event, a regular ThirdThursday gallery gathering/reception/arts marketplace at Floyd’s Thirst Parlor downtown. I’ve decided I will work at the museum through the early part of the event downtown, I shall take camera and books of poetry to the event with cash for a few bottled beers and I shall be sociable for an hour and a half. I can do this much. The museum at the airport and I will survive (or as country folk frequently say “will both survive”) to live an other day . . . . “good Lord willin’ and the creeks don’t rise.”
Live long . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and proper.