Friday, March 4, 2011

Proof of Life

Imaginary playlist:

"Arrurru," Pablo Menendez
"Drume Negrita," Bola de Nieve, from Cuban Lullaby

"Puerto Pimentel," Gabriel Alegria, Afro-Peruvian Sextet

"Wizards in Winter," Trans-Siberian Orchestra, from The Lost Christmas Eve

Today I went to Chicago with my friend K-- to do paperwork toward an official divorce in the country known as Tecala in the film Proof of Life.  She is legally divorced here in the USA, where she and her kids live, but not in the country that shall be known as Tecala, where she was actually married and where her ex lives part of the year but neglected to do the paperwork until now.

Hmm, I just pictured a judge and a gavel, so this is Thor's Day as well as a Random Coinciday in the blog.

K-- went to the Tecalan Embassy where the clerk was sort of incompetent and any Americans or Americanized Tecalans waiting were frustrated and impatient, but most of the Tecalans were laid back and friendly and used to the wait, sharing the funny cat videos on their iPhones, etc.

I went over to the Chicago Cultural Center and enjoyed the current photography exhibit and live music from a band playing music from Central and South America, including songs from Mexico, Cuba, and the country that shall be known as Tecala. Pretty random, huh?

Then K-- called to say I should go ahead and have lunch as the incompetence appeared to be interminable, and she'd had to step out to a 7-11 for a candy bar, where the counter clerk was blinded by her beauty, shielding his eyes in a swift motion as she tried to pay.  "Oh, were you blinded by my beauty?!" she asked (using my own characteristic punctuation).

It turned out to be a sudden migraine, but he went along with it, and I went along to the Park Grill in Millennium Park, noticing the ice skaters but not the SWAT Team.

I got a table, asked if I could linger, which was fine as long as I was going to order lunch, and alerted the staff that I might be joined but probably not, when lo and behold K-- called, and lunch together was possible, and I gave her walking directions, stood up and waved in the window, perhaps drawing the attention of the SWAT Team as well as the wait staff, and K-- found her way to me, and we had fabulous salads.

And I ate a lot of bread.  Proof of hunger.

K-- pointed out the SWAT Team and their binoculars and guns. They were either in training for a possible incident or avid winter bird watchers.

On the way home in the car, I read her a story from the current issue of The Sun, one of my favorite magazines, called "World Enough and Time," by Linda McCullough Moore, a phrase that many other writers have been fond of, including Robert Penn Warren, who used it as a title for a novel (and titles cannot be copyrighted). The story made me sob, and I couldn't read the last paragraph, so we watched the rain a while, she made a call in to her workplace, and so on, until I got it together and read the ending through the lump in my throat.

The phrase "world enough, and time" comes from the opening line of "To His Coy Mistress," by Andrew Marvell, which also contains the phrase, "Time's winged chariot hurrying near," which, indeed, it is.

The moral of the poem is let's do it while we can! Let's do!


Kim said...

One SWAT guy had dark sunglasses on so as not to be blinded by anything. Also his partner had a list that I think included birds he was hoping to find to get a SWAT team merit badge.

Susan said...

I had to look up your story, after you mentioned it, and the lump. I found it!

I will now read it, but not outloud, so as not to lump.

Maybe the SWAT team was there looking for Meg and Russell?

Susan said...

Okay well drat, it's not the whole story. Oh well.

Kathleen said...

A teaser, eh? You can borrow my copy!

ted tingley said...

This evening I went on the internet and it sent
me directly to Kathleen's blog without my permission. Now I am studying the blog to find out what was so important to me that the system sent me there.

Imaginary, rings a bell. Maybe ramdom is better.Or blinded by beauty.

Ha! The Swat Team. I was wearing my Swat Team
T Shirt today. It was given to me by the LT for by participation on the firing range on in Colorado,CO.

I don't need a divorce.

Collagemama said...

"Time's winged chariot hurrying near," is an excellent phrase for my day spent with Dad.

I will drink a Tecate to a successful completion of your Tecala task.

DJ Vorreyer said...

I'm glad you ended up having a lovely day. Put your Book Cellar reading on my calendar - hope the universe goes along.