Thursday, August 18, 2011
The invitations are all out there in the world now. Not sure why it didn't occur to me whilst stamping 100 RSVP postcards, but we are lousy with mail these days. It's very Privet Drive in Sorcerer's Stone over here, I mean, the figurative floo is just blooming with mail. Ahem.
And listen, I know that people aren't sending them back to be charitable, but I can't help it. Each postcard buddy in our mailbox is a little paper high five.
There are a million things I need to do in the next 37 days (find shoes, rent tent, hire bike taxis, plan ohhh my honeymoon, find more blue jars, fantasize about using blue freaking jars as trap shooting targets etc. forever) and I am ignoring the hell out of them. I am too busy allowing my boyfriend to perfect his Louis Armstrong all the way to Target without comment. Going on slow runs with Sjanneke through Schiller Park, watching all the dogs tumbling over and humping each other. And going to spinning class.
Spinning class makes me sweat my nuts off and feel powerless. I love it? I spend all day controlling - my meals, my workload, my social life, my Pandora station - and I get to the Y and put my feet in those pedal straps and go. I absorb someone else's artfully assembled soundtrack and I don't stop when it hurts. Which is often, but in the John Mellencamp way.
The downtown Y is very grand and slightly shabby. Baroque 1920s moulding meets stale carpet, the pile of which was ground away decades ago. They teach spinning in just one of these comfortably anachronistic rooms. I find myself there a few minutes preceding class, circling my legs and staring into the west-facing windows. They are a theatre of golden light on a summer evening, and the other day I heard strains of Beethoven's Fur Elise break out spontaneously. First thought, no kidding, "sweet ring tone". Then I realized someone was actually playing the piano in the lobby. My face flushed with nostalgia.
In many ways my childhood was normal parts idyllic and gritty, but every day after work and before dinner, my dad would sit down at the piano and play and play. There was Beethoven, ragtime, Beatles songs - my siblings and I would compete to improvise duet versions by his side, using the pedals inappropriately to make Lady Madonna into a dampened dirge, etc.
As much as I believe that our lives, longitudinal and full of suffering, don't make good narratives (see: biopics are boring), sometimes I encounter my past so much I can almost identify a motif. Sometimes this makes me laugh out loud, atop a bike that doesn't move forward, in a room by myself.