Dean, as I will call Dean, dropped by (from 90 minutes east) for a getaway that turned into a walk along the C&O Canal at Williamsport on the Potomac, a bit of sitting in at the every-other-Saturday open mic at the Desert Rose Cafe, where we ate wisely, and a drive off into the sunset, ahhhh and awwww, that took us into Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.
Just friends have been Dean and I (15 years), and I might say of such a friendship that I’ve had my adventures and misadventures, virtues and many vices, with which Dean has had little to do — fact is: that, one panel up, is the first time she has heard me play guitar and sing, not counting about 30 seconds of getting about right some weepy love song in a living room long consigned to Dean’s past–and Dean was up the stairs at the time and may not have even heard that.
So we had a lovely walk on the canal path, a light supper, a little showbiz, and a fine drive in the hill country out to one of the nation’s smaller but persistently capable and drawing tourist destinations.
Missing from the photography: as we were leaving Berkeley Springs, the rise over the big hills on the town’s eastern edge of the largest spring moon you ever saw.
Dean, being Dean, I’ve had to ask myself where I might wish to go by myself . . . and what I might wish to do there by myself . . . or, locally, where I might wish to hang out for a while.
. . . . . .
Some years ago, six, to be exact, I had managed to spend about ten years of evenings (and many weekends) dancing country-western style in a bar on the southwest fringe of Baltimore and the Baltimore Washington International (BWI) Airport. Those who know it will know it by the description and know also I followed the franchise when it opened where I now live.
I hardly drop by these days, some for having grown shorter and wider, some for playing music around town, some, a lot, for keeping a political blog and putting in Facebook time big time with an affinity-built Facebook community.
At the moment, it feels as if age, finite time, technology, and a concomittant super-abundance of things yet to do (I’m ready to get through the second half of War and Peace) have caught up with me.
Yes, rather no, children, you cannot do it all.
And if you can, it doesn’t matter to me because I can’t and am about out of time for figuring that out.
My mansion inside a cabin inside an apartment by a patch of woods on the eastern edge of western Maryland floats not only close by the American economy — another story I’m sure I will get to in these virtual pages some day — but also by quite a few good enough to very good bars and restaurants, including that one where I had been a regular (and there’s the one where I’ve been singing Tuesday nights), but such amenity may prove as hard on the closet as on the heart, literally.
As for staying in, I’m not quite Maugham or Shaw enough — not quite the indie literary loner, nor gay with known stops — so I have got a compound problem defending my freedom, keeping my health (while my marrow cranks out WBCs and a lymph node or two gobbles them up), remaining Jewish (yet another story), and coming up with company.
Or going it, as ever, as always, alone.
Although I have enjoyed and continue to enjoy driving around with Dean.
. . . . . .
Online shopping helps for distraction.
Serious sports car geeks know sandals, jeans, a t-shirt, a windbreaker (or leather jacket) and a long-brimmed ball cap will suffice for a drive — put a diner or road house at the apoapsis — but, oh no, I go out equipped like a scout — I have to support the Lumix or another camera, at minimum, plus . . . prescription driving glasses, the cell phone, other “mag” “murse” and “it’s European!” stuff — or like an army, but trimmed back some from the American Tourister set: canvas guide, side, and duffle bags will do for me.
Still, I don’t know whether I’m looking for a landscape or a restaurant, or which landscape or what kind of restaurant; for that matter, what means the next landscape or the next restaurant? Perhaps all this — everything — is going to come down to is mindless gas guzzling, out far and away and back.
Either that last thought will prevail, which might be fun in a weird way, or I’m about to learn a lot about intuition.