Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Zen with Ella

Think Kit Day 17: What stands out?

Share a moment that stands out. Was it moving, awkward, infuriating, ecstatic, or ___? Who was with you? Where were you?


It was zen. And perfect. And I'm saying "perfect" even though I had a poetry teacher who frowned when I used it in a poem. Granted, he was partially right (woo, show don't tell), but this isn't a poem, so PERFECT nyah nyah nyah. (File under: Mature, I Am.) I actually wrote a bit about this moment in my first blog post (a whopping 16 days ago). But now I can 'splain instead of sum up.

One of my favorite pictures I've ever taken
I was lucky enough to spend time with some good friends from St. Louis the weekend before my 40th birthday. I'd had a big sleepover shindig planned, but had to bail out at almost the last minute because it was too much. I was low on sleeping space and money, and stressing out about little things like not having enough kinds of tea on hand to make my guests comfortable. I was also due to co-host with a friend who couldn't attend because her mother was very ill, and it just seemed like rescheduling was a good way to go. My St. Louis friends, however, asked if it was okay if they came to town anyway and took me to dinner. They were staying in a hotel due to cat allergies, which meant I didn't have to deal with the catastrophic mess. It was such a nice gesture that I said yes.

We went to dinner at Santorini, which is probably my favorite restaurant in town. The owners and waitstaff are some of the nicest people ever. Even if I only go a couple times a year, I'm always greeted by several people who ask where I've been. I'm always a bit surprised -- am I THAT recognizable? -- but also pleased. It's nice to have people miss you.

Reddi Whip with a candle
After some nice wine, a lovely dinner, and a plate of celebratory whipped cream and cherries, we headed to the Metro, but only stayed about an hour. The prevailing opinion had been that it was too loud and too crowded, which made us tell all kinds of jokes about throwing our canes at all the whippersnappers. My friends asked what I wanted to do and I somewhat sheepishly admitted that I kind of wanted ice cream. We headed to Steak and Shake, had late-night milkshakes, and all squealed in delight (on the inside, anyway) when some rowdy teenagers, trying to start trouble by throwing sugar packets on our table, got the verbal smackdown in a Very Adult Voice from my friend Jen. It's never been so satisfying to hear "I'm sorry, ma'am," even though I wasn't the ma'am in question.

Still got a bit of blue in there
When we left Steak and Shake, it was raining really hard. We had been listening to Lady Gaga earlier in the evening, but Jen switched to Ella Fitzgerald, which proved to be a perfect soundtrack for the drive home. 1:30 a.m. found fewer cars along Washington Street. The drive was smooth and steady; the rain and music complemented each other. I remember being stunned by Fitzgerald's voice on "The Lady is a Tramp" and a sultry version of "Our Love is Here to Stay." Even though the 'bubble' we were in only lasted about 20 minutes, it had a power I can't quite explain. I took a photo of the raindrops against the window, trying to capture some blue lights from a sign near 45 Degrees. However, I was also trying to turn the flash off before the stoplight turned green so I wouldn't blind everyone in the car and ruin the magic, so I ended up with the image on the left instead. (I didn't want to ask Jen to pull over. I wanted the photo to be as organic as possible.) I still like the way it came out. It will help me remember a really special evening for what I hope is a really long time.

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