Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sunday Memories: A CowGrrl Grows In Brooklyn



She is the rare bright moment in a long, bad memory.

Florence had just gotten sick and days and weeks were scrambled into bloody battles of panic and fear that felt like driving down a treacherous mountain road in a hurricane with your eyes closed.

Somehow in the midst of our lives shattering, I got out for a free evening. I remembered I wore something pretty and even took a pretty handbag. I was determined to reclaim some part of something called 'hope' or 'I do have a life' or anything but what I did day in and day out.

There was a barbecue/fundraiser for some radical literary magazine in the backyard of some one's 20-something street studio apartment. The old school of writers were there and many were old. I knew no one except one person and she was busy either panicking about the reading or honing in potential sources of nourishment both living and dead.

In my rush to wear different clothes than the ones I wore taking care of Florence, I had forgotten how much I hated parties and how painfully inept I was at speaking to strangers.

I grabbed a soda and out of the corner of my eye saw a woman so open and self-confident, she seriously had it going on. I thought "she's the coolest person here." But couldn't ever imagine getting to know her. She was, in friends-ville, out of my league.

I decided to be zen-like in the hell I suddenly found myself in. I sat down on a rock in the tiny backyard and pretended to just be. How or why she sat down next to me I don't know but sometimes the universe is kind.

It wasn't just the flattery that she knew my work or even liked it. It wasn't just the delight in finding a writer who could carry on a conversation about writing with enthusiasm and clarity. It wasn't just the surprise of hearing interesting ideas about cowboys and westerns and all that American stuff I was clueless about. It was the delight and joy of finding unexpected connection in a time nothing connected.

Years later, she had a barbecue in her own backyard. All the worst things that could have happened since that day have happened. But one or two really wonderful things have happened as well.

Meet Bucko.

5 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

She probably looked around at that party for someone who looked "cool and together". She saw you distancing yourself from the herd and said "aha, that woman has it all together". You see, it's all in perception.

bucko said...

That's exactly what happened! I'd just read "Wire Monkey," which stood out for me among an ezine's submissions. I was thrilled to meet the writer in person. And certain I would never, ever attain the coolness that is CO. I still doubt I can, hanging on to her cool coattails...

c.o. moed said...

NONSENSE (and other such words!!!)

the day I have Bucko's grace, elegance and style will be a good day.

Alana said...

now you know how I feel when I am around both you AND Bucko! Writers who have intense enthusiasm for what they do, sharp wit and can also admit all the pitfalls that can go with banging your head on a keyboard to get a sentence.

So I grab both your coattails and look at you both in awe. :)

bucko said...

Tee hee! I think we need new clothes, as coattails aren't in my wardrobe!