Saturday, January 28, 2012

You Cannot Have A Bad Time In A Pair Of Red Cowgirl Boots

Oh, y'all.
It's almost ten in the morning and I just got up and I think I might still be drunk.


It was a fabulous night.

I was being so wussy about it but something kept saying go, go, go, and so I did. We did. I finished my make-up with Owen tearing my bathroom apart and putting powder on his face. When I put my red lipstick on he studied me and said, "New lips!" and I kissed him with my new lips and we took him to his mama and went on to the Legion Hall where this reunion was taking place and I felt shy as could be and we walked in and I thought, "Oh, Jesus. There are going to be so many people here I thought were dead."

We found my ex and his wife and sat down at their table and it was all just starting to happen. It occurred to me quite strongly that hell, if I had felt compelled to come down for this reunion, everyone else in town would too and yes, that was true.

It was like some sort of huge family/high school reunion except for the fact that it was joyful and since we were at a reunion for a bar, basically, there was much drinking going on and as the night got deeper into its hours, we got deeper into our celebrating and the music got deeper into the blues and the dancers got deeper into their dancing.

I saw people I hadn't seen in years. And not just people I'd known from the bar, either. I saw my midwife and damn, if she doesn't look exactly the same as she's looked forever. She delivered Lily (probably the scariest birth she ever did) and although she's not in the biz anymore, she said she'd love to come to Lily's birth. We shall discuss. She's done a birth with Lily's midwife before and she really likes her. My Liz and Lon of the west were there and they were carrying tequila and sharing it out.

There they are together. Liz and my midwife, Erice.

It was a coming-together of what was once a community, in fact. We were a disparate group of people for sure, but we all went to Finales for companionship, for drinks, for food, for music.
And thus it was again.

The old chefs for Finales had gumbo and pork butt cooking outside. Delicious. Oh, how I have missed the food at Finales which stayed open until four a.m. and you could come in at three and get a steamed veggie platter and how many places can you say that about?

Well, in Tallahassee at least.

And yes I did see people I honestly thought were dead and some of them looked better than they did twenty years ago if you want to know the truth. Not all of us have aged so well but there we were and we danced, a lot of us, and we all walked around in a sort of agogness going, Isn't this just something? Isn't this just amazing? and it was. It truly was. Turns out we might all still have a few ya-ya's left. This is a fine thing to realize.

We left around midnight, amazing for us, and I am feeling incredibly none-the-worse for the experience.

It was just a beautiful evening and there were beautiful faces and beautiful smiles.

There was music.

There was food and there were so many hugs. People kept saying, "We should do this more often," but honestly- I think the fact that it has been so long made it so special. Plus, it's hard to get us old folks out much any more.

And we don't have enough days left to waste that many of them in recovery-mode. Although you know, once in a while it's worth it. It's worth it to see the faces, it's worth it to hear the voices, it's worth it to let the tequila open your heart full-wide to enjoy it all, to give your body permission to dance. It's worth it to hear the blues and remember what it was like to go hear music every week of your life, to be grateful for those people who play it and to be so glad that they are still here, still playing.

I'm glad I went. I sure am. I'm glad I put on my red cowgirl boots and my red lipstick and went out after dark and I'm glad I danced and I'm glad I got to hear the music and I'm glad I got to whisper secrets in ears and I'm glad I got to laugh and I'm glad I got all those hugs and that bowl of gumbo and Cam's recipe for etouffee and that I had two shots of espresso and several cups of water in the middle of it and saw people walking around and happy who I seriously thought were maybe dead and I'm glad it's a beautiful day today and it's like last night was one more gem in the necklace of beads around my neck which are the days I've lived.
An especially pretty bead. One that I'll cherish.

It was a night of remember? remember? and how are you? and some of the folks, well, you could tell that death has come a little too close with his cold dark breath but that's the way of it if you live long enough and there we were, come together again, changed and not-changed, dancing and smiling, saying Damn, it's good to see you, saying, Isn't this something? Isn't this just something?

And oh, y'all. It was.


  1. I'm glad you added another special gem on your beaded necklace of life.

    You've made me nostalgic for those old hippie party days, back in my youth ~ maybe I'll go look at some old photos!

  2. What a special evening you had Mary! I've been sick so I am behind (again!) and will catch up with all of the week that I have missed.

    That is what must be special of small towns, communities that can bond over years and years.

  3. Wonderful, Mary :)

    And to have your midwife attend your own birth... magic.

  4. Amen, sister.

    You preach at the Church of The Good Goddamn Living and I hope everyone joins your flock!

    And tequila and pork butt for all.



  5. :-) FUN! And the boots were a must!

  6. I especially loved the I'm glad paragraph and thought how lovely it is to share such a beautiful smile.

  7. Good for you, maryofmine! I went out dancing last night too :)

  8. When my mom was a little girl she called lipstick 'bye bye stick', because my grandma only wore it when she went 'bye bye'. Owen's musings about your new lips reminded me of that. xo

  9. Your post made me smile, made me happy, made me nostalgic and hungry for some good food, made me feel better like medicine, made me so glad I stopped by to read this post. What a wonderful night. Thanks for sharing it all with us, and for wording it all just right.

    Ha, the word verification is gnubtlog, which is what a night of too much fun and tequila makes me feel like the next day! You're right, we don't have too many of those days-after to spare now, do we?

  10. I heard it was a good time. I was hoping for stories of shinanigans and nekkidness and tom foolery, but no no, none of that!

  11. Lulumarie- You would have felt right at home, honey. I know you would have.

    Ellen- And I think that within every community there is a gathering place. Don't you? Finales was it for many of us.

    Jo- Wouldn't that be something? And I used to go to home births with Erice myself, helping out, you know. Back in the olden, olden days.

    Tearful- Or even tofu and Dr. Pepper or organic wheat grass juice. Whatever makes you happy. And want to dance.

    Nicol- I love those boots. I do. And my Lis gave them to me.
    Not my Liz, but my Lis. My Liz has given me plenty other things. I am blessed.

    Shea Goff- Howdy and welcome! I hope you come back to visit with us. I'm going to visit you. I am intrigued.

    SJ- REALLY? Awesome!

    Chrissy- When my children were young and I would kiss them good-bye with my lipstick lips we would call them "angel kisses." Lipstick is sort of magic, isn't it?

    Mel- It was so fun. And you know what? Whatever gnubtlog is, I think I felt the opposite to it today.

    Ms. Fleur- Really. You should have been there. We missed you.

  12. I would rather go to a bar reunion than my high school one. If the old Dumbwaiter Bar would rise from the dust I would go back to see all those who used to be there.

  13. Why do we dread the going out when we ultimately have so much fun?

    Whatever! A great night of dancing is its own therapy.


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