Saturday, August 21, 2010

coffee shop talk

So many birthdays in August, it's madness. As my friend Dominic likes to remind me, December is a very cold month. Hahaha. Ew. Anyway.

My friend Marianna, temporarily back from Spain, had her birthday last week. She turned 25. I found that very striking-- 25 is a striking age. I always thought I would be at my best at 25. I believe women are supposed to be at their physical prime at that age, too. It would suck to make it there and be ugly. Marianna is really the perfect 25-year-old, however. She's absolutely strikingly beautiful, she lives in Spain, she's trying to figure out what she wants to do, she dances and she travels and she dates Brits and Spaniards with fancy shoes. Boo. I'm about two years away from the quarter century mark, and I'm so far from being what I thought I'd be-- which is all that and more, of course-- that I shudder to think.

Buuut anyway.

Her birthday celebration was at her family's house, which for awhile was also basically my house, and to be back in there with everyone just possessed of love for their girl gave me the warmest feeling. I love birthdays. I love cards that everyone writes in and birthday signs and presents that are just so well suited for the recipient that the moment they see it in its little bag or box their eyes turn into lights. Anyway, there was nothing especially unusual about her birthday dinner except for that lovely settling in my heart as we all crouched around the table. It's so funny to be a part in the celebrations of other units, families. There is always a certain way in which things are done, for good or bad, and even the participants don't seem to notice how seeped they are in their tradition and reaction-- they just simply are.

I think I've become too self aware to simply "be" like that. So it's nice to see.

The night before her birthday we (Marianna, Maureen, and another friend of hers) tottered down to The Good Bar (which has just become THE bar for me and the people I know. It's small and convenient I suppose) and had a few. The band performing happened to be alright for a change, and the girls got to dance which always makes them happy. There was a lovely movie-moment on our way out. As the band wrapped up with "Closing Time" Maureen asked if she might be able to sing a song over the microphone for her sister (Maureen has a beautiful voice and loves to sing though she doesn't do it very often). The bartender, amused, allowed her that, and she stepped up to the mic and began singing "You Really Got a Hold on Me." Eventually the band's drummer hopped on task, giving her a beat and everyone in the bar sang along with the chorus and clapped for her, Marianna most of all, glowing even brighter than the star in the room. Everyone was super impressed by the time the song ended, and Maureen gained quite a few fans.

It just made me think about Marianna, though, and about how capable some people are of achieving great joy. Maureen's song was almost like fuel to her sister, making her happy. How lovely that the quality of another can make someone else so joyful, how nice that someone's appreciation of another can make them glow.

Sometimes, just sometimes... I love people.

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