Site Meter Peculiar Susceptibility: "as the flames rose to her Roman nose"

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"as the flames rose to her Roman nose"

Well, it's nothing like that summer I was 14 and we piled into some boy's car to watch So I Married an Axe Murderer at the Mansfield Drive-In.  That summer it was The Smiths and cut off jean shorts and little kids' tee-shirts and Manic Panic.  It was deciding to screw being tan for the first time.  It was cars filled with older friends and it was singing arias in the back seat.  It was mix tapes and humidity.

When you're 14 the colors that fill out your experiences are deeply saturated. When you're 14 this saturation is extended by a general oblivion to the world around you, so that, for instance, not knowing that you were going to the drive-in during the Perseid meteor shower and then seeing dozens of stars raining down, would probably result in you deeming the night to be among those that were your most magical.

But then, what's 14 for if not self-centered magic?

But tonight was good, too, in its own quasi-adult way. I worked late - till around 9; I went to the gym; I showered; I did the dishes. And then I packed up The Bear and walked down the block to the law school's soccer field. My block has an odd sort of mix of housing - there are longtime West End residents; there are wealthy, newly-arrived homeowners; there are the residents of the assisted living facility; there are people on Section 8; and there are renters (most of them law students). As I walked down the block, I noted one television, one unidentified ultraviolet liquid, four used mattresses, one stove, three adolescents getting the most out of the days before the curfew takes effect, two cats (not counting The Bear), and one couple sitting on their porch. I walked past the sublime Hartford Seminary and tromped out into the middle of the field. The grass was wet. I put The Bear down and stretched out, long on the wet earth.

And I waited.

And just when I had determined that there is probably too much light pollution in Hartford to watch a meteor shower, there it was - one perfect slash of the razor against the sky. And I loved it. And it made me gasp. And The Bear switched from purring to the little sound she makes when she's taking stock of her surroundings.

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