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.