"I am an idealistic, naive, passionate, truth-seeking, spiritually motivated artist, unschooled in the science of law and finance." --Wesley Snipes

Monday, May 31, 2004

Memorial Day with Coffee and K. / other things.

I just returned from a trip to Full City for the requisite mid-day triple americano. I got the same thing two years ago. I later wrote a poem about it. Well, a poem titled "Memorial Day 2002." I went in for coffee and came out four hours later with a new friend and a huge crush. Wait--that's not true. The huge crush came a few days later. In any case, because of this chance meeting two years ago, I ended up writing the poems that became lucky error. Paging through the ms. a few days ago, I noticed that only a handful of poems in the book predate May 31, 2002.

I waited in line for my coffee and spied, a few feet away, K., a young woman who I knew "professionally" but not personally. The discomfort that accompanies publicly encountering someone you don't really know provoked me to ask her for poems for the fledgling Canary (then The Canary River Review). We sat down to exchange contact information and left when they kicked us out four hours later (early holiday closing time). I didn't really "fall" until I read her poems a few days later. She left Oregon less than a month after our first meeting, but we kept in contact for the next year and a half exchanging daily emails, occasional phone calls, sharing poems, postcards, and so on. During this time I was writing, revising, putting the book together.

K., like Dan Jones, is originally from a Kansas City suburb--on the Kansas side. Like Dan, she has also called Eugene and Iowa home. We don't keep in touch much these days. So it goes. She's at MFA school now, turning heads, and I guess going to a lot of parties, which is what they do in Iowa, or so I'm told. Laurel? A lot of partying?

On my way out the door, I ran into my neighbor, also K (I'll call her K2), who works at Full City, and talked about the future of our home. We live in a huge converted turn of the century frat house. New owners took over recently, and changes are happening. K2 is moving out to be closer with her boyfriend (my ex-roommate, M.) who lives on the Oregon Coast. A lot changes in a couple of years. When M. lived with me, he was notable chiefly for drinking copious amounts of malt liquor, smoking pot, and falling asleep while eating or preparing food. Now he's living a respectable coastal life as a marine biologist. And me? I'm still writing a little, and trying to muddle my way through a graduate degree that will render me unemployable and debt-ridden. Two more years, more or less. The huge (1500 sq. ft) downstairs apartment is opening up, and they're only charging $30 more per month than I'm paying for my considerably dumpier upstairs joint. I'm going to try to switch.


As my student/friend (soon to by not-student, and so then, perhaps, simply friend) K3 (yes, I have a lot of Ks) wrote to me today, "four months and ten days," which is the time until our birthday (yes, we share the same birthday). And then what? I guess I'm supposed to look forward to something good--I'll be thirty-two, and still living like a big kid. But it's nice to have a goal--

In the more immediate future, I'm looking forward to visiting Shanna & Co. in NYC in August or September. Later in the winter, I'll be heading to Chicago to see Nick and Robyn, (they're moving there at the end of summer--Robyn got a job at Northwestern). AND there's a possible summer house and cat-sitting gig available in Chi-town next summer when Robyn will head to New Zealand to be with Twemlow, who will, at that point, be sheepfighting his way across the country. Or future dominating. Or self-defending.

Anybody want to come to NYC with me? Or Chicago next summer? I'm serious. I hate traveling alone.

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