"Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody...
I got some money cause I just got paid..."
-Cat Stevens (to the best of my knowledge) Another Saturday Night
So another Saturday night passes by, another Saturday-day down, one of the thousands of Saturdays I've experiened in my lifetime this far.
It was (to me, anyway) another blazingly-hot day (the heat this week has been epic, as my friend L. so eloquently, and hilariously described it "Like standing beside a fire"). Truly. It's been intense.
So yesterday was supposedly 'cooler' which, in comparison to Wednesday and Thursday, I guess it was.
But running it in, on a track, even in the mid-morning, with the sun beating down, and flurries of dragonflies drifting above, it felt tropical-hot again to me. The dragonfly thing was strange, I have to say. As I ran my laps, I saw their shadows before I actually saw the dragonflies themselves. Iridescent-poison-green bodies, transparent wings, they were the size of small birds. Hovering above. I had never (city girl don't forget) seen such an amount of them, anywhere downtown, flying together at one time. Also interesting at the track (it is surrounded by a large, lush park) are the very unique butterflies. One seemed to be my pace setter yesterday, a creamy-vanilla colour with black accents, flittering beside me as I ran around and around.
I was tired.
I was tired when I set out, I was tired in the first two miles. I was tired after the next two miles, running around and around, going in the opposite direction than the other runners I saw to switch it up for my stride. I was tired watching some high-schoolers do speed work, and little kids playing soccer alongside the track.
I was tired on the 2 mile trek home.
All in all, as I described to my friend H., one of 'those' types of runs. I could have cried (in fact, I did cry, as I watered myself at the fountain at the top of the park, a woman was pushing an elderly man in a wheelchair--there is a long-term care facility near the park) and we exchanged smiles, the three of us, and I thought of my dad, as I always do, when I see a very old man--he'll never be that age). I tear up even now thinking about it. Those are, in the end, the very thoughts that keep me going though, oddly. The place in my head where I "donate" my runs to people who can't run. It was something that really resonated to me in 2010, during all my runs that summer, pacing them against my dad's treatments, which ran from June to August.
So....all that was going on Saturday morning.
I came home (still tired). Ate some sardines with hot sauce, grabbed (more) water, an July issue (2003) of Gourmet magazine (Mike's mom had, at her home, a STACK of back issues, I was happy to take them off her hands). Headed up (took the stairs, yes, twelve flights) up to the roof and fell asleep on a lounge chair for roughly an hour. When I woke up, dazed by the heat, the sun, it was after 2. I went back downstairs, showered, puttered around, then made it (second week in a row!) to church. As always, when I'm pressed for time and then I finally make it there, the reward is usually pretty magical. Yesterdays' reward was substantial--the regular singer was absent, in her place was a young guy with a voice like a professional tenor, accompanied by an awkward-looking piano player in place of the usual organist. They had already started the music by the time I was arriving and the whole building was filled with the sounds. I sat behind the piano player, a few rows back, feeling like my dad had sent me a little gift. I always associate piano-playing with him, some of my earliest memories, Saturday nights in our townhouse, downstairs in the family room, my dad playing away, singing, my sister and I crowded on the piano bench beside him, my mom nearby. Sometimes they invited one of our teachers over for dinner and music, sometimes neighbours were around.
I think back--where did that life go?
I make dinner for my sister and I and head over to her place late in the day, all organized, somehow, with the dinner things we will eat, need, and the accessories required to make it all happen.
We relax outside in her backyard, dusk and then slowly, even later, dark (stars and clouds mixing together above). We eat. We get ready to go out.
We go, out into the night, and we walk around, we find a patio, we sit outside again, with a drink, and take in the night air, the revellers of energetic twenty-somethings, all on the hunt for someone, something they have gone out to find. I envy their energy, and my sister says something along the lines of
"If you'd only known then, in your twenties, what you know now".
"It's the paradox of life", I reply.
She nods, sipping her wine.
We pay our bill and move on, to a more boisterous indoor-space, a vodka bar packed to capacity, girls teetering on shoes up and down a flight of sweeping stairs. We have vodka shots, prettily laced with lemonade. We listen to bouncing music, the beat thruming out a sound too loud to exchange conversation over. We watch bachlorette parties unfold, tiaras on the tops of heads, fake veils.
I finger my own wedding ring, a talisman to wield men away with. It never used to be needed. In my twenties, I could go anywhere, and always be that invisible girl. Now, I am visible, and quickly (thankfully) dismissed. The ring is clocked, and there is that look off into the middle distance, a quick dismissal. My sister's status generates more questions, more excitement.
We slink home, it's almost 2 am. I eat a piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken standing up in my kitchen, in the dark. I'm wearing pajama shorts that are actually from my own twenties.
I talk to Mike, who is up late, still working.
I read a bit of a Joan Didion book.
I fall asleep, deep and dreamless.
I wake up to Sunday.