Sunday, March 25, 2007

In telling the story of my father’s life, it’s impossible to separate the fact from the fiction...

I'm going to pretend, while writing this, that Dean and CJ* aren't going to find it and read it, which they will.

THURSDAY NIGHT: Having just painted a really good-looking shirt, L'Afro and I were walking out of my apartment right as it was getting dark and we heard a distant, "Marco! ... Marco!" from two unmistakably familiar voices. I jumped on her and yelled, "It's them! POLO! POLO!" Their heads popped up on the other side of the fence that surrounds the complex pool and I probably screamed some more. They climbed the fence, ran across the pool area, and then quite literally flipped over the other side of the fence and into my arms. We hugged a lot and said a lot of things that I don't remember.

To quote L'Afro, "It was like two little boys clamoring for their mom to 'See what I did! See what I did!'" Heh.

We got their things and drove to the apartment of my friends with whom they were to stay. Ended up walking five or so blocks back to my place, CJ with his guitar and Dean with his accordian. As mentioned in a prior post, oh boy did I bask in this moment. You all know that soundtrack effect you get with an iPod. Imagine that live and loud and rich and walking right behind you in all of its rhinestone 1930's glory, also in the company of two old friends that remind you of the best parts of home, and they're playing that "perfect moment" song from Amelie... Can you see why I couldn't wipe that enormously pleased grin from my face?

The usual crowd (plus some) showed up for our traditional Thursday night gathering at my place. Slow start - there were a lot of people, and Jeeves and Wooster wouldn't play on our DVD player (we eventually watched the honorable "Time Tunnel" episode of Pete & Pete). In the downtime, Dean and CJ decided to play "I Will Survive" on their respective instruments. What a performance. Uffish and I did a dance. It was a magnificent night.

FRIDAY: The day that I bored them to death, or Music Day. The morning started out well - I took a test on the djembe, came home and talked to roommates until the boys showed up. The boys played music for hours and it was fantastic. They write their own songs and cover a lot of their favorite bands, namely The Mountain Goats. When they play their own songs, though, babies laugh and angels sing and something happens with dolphins, too. Once again, I literally couldn't stop smiling. There's a particular song that Dean wrote on his accordian and he sings and its perfect - the tune, the lyrics, the concept, his voice - it all congeals into a perfect song and it really ... well, it really affects me**. They even let me play a few songs with them, on Honey or on my djembe. After a morning of this, we decided to get food from the Cougareat, where we found a mutual friend from home and ran away with her. The four of us listened to a friend from class play a little of her own music at a birthday party, and then squeezed ourselves into a single practice room in the HFAC so that we could get some piano in there too. I caught some shoddy recordings on my microtape player, if you'd like to hear a slice. Some fantastic things went down in that practice room. It was late afternoon, early evening by now. Some tentative plans had fallen through. We half watched The Incredibles at my place, got some pizza, decided to crash (though it's kind of hard to crash when nobody notices for a few minutes) the Board party going on at Dragon Lady's house by playing some sweet tunes in the backyard, argued about what to do, and then ended up falling asleep in my living room to Mystery Science Theater 3000's Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

SATURDAY: After a hardcore cleaning check and some chilling at the-friend-that-put-up-Dean-and-CJ's place, the three of us came back to my apartment and had some good conversation*** and some relaxing hockey/guitar/cooking time. We all played the Four Letter Word Game, then Dean and I played it with no paper. Intense. A few people (though less than originally anticipated) came over to consume the fruits of my culinary labors****. We met up with the usual gang at Optimistic.'s for the purpose of caravaning over to the Festival of Colors at the Krishna temple. I think we all know that this was an amazing mesh of cultural heritage and opportunistic pricing and that I spent too much money and enjoyed myself too much. I saw a lot of friends there and ended up leaving with a green scalp and a lantern that's really quite pretty. We Carls Jred, we split up to shower, and we reconvened for games. After a few solemn Speed Scrabble beatings, Dean and CJ and I mosied back to my apartment for to watch Annie Hall. I was asleep before too long, but then Thirdmango showed up and they all shared some incredible stories way past curfew while I laid on the floor half asleep and very happy.

TODAY: The boys had to find something to do while I went to church and did some homework. They did come over for a few hours to play Asteroids and to talk. The bittersweet conclusion to leave tonight arrived. It's a good thing, and I was kind of hoping for it - we weren't sick of each other yet, and I'm exhausted, and I'd nothing but bore them for the next three days - but I still have an empty spot in my soul and in my ears that they had been filling with zeal. They packed up their stuff and wrote goodbye notes to their hosts and hugged me so long that it became a joke. They hug well though, I assure you. I quote, "[CJ] has a good hugging chest". And he does - he is just the right height and smells like Old Spice. Then they drove away with their electric keyboard on the dash, plugged into the cigarette lighter, going home and writing the songs that our children might hum.

*It might be prudent to here summarize my relationship with CJ. When we met, he was a freshman I was a sophomore and we were both in the spring musical together. He played an old British drunkard with gypsy blood in his veins. CJ is a mellow, goofy guy who loves Family Guy, The Simpsons, MST3K, and hockey. For some reason, I let my guard down around him, especially with touch. A stranger might walk by and think we were perhaps in some sort of dysfunctional romantic relationship. He did have a crush on me at some point (I just can't go for younger men), and he gave me a miniature bottle of green Tabasco sauce that he bought in New Orleans as a token. We don't have to have long conversations frequently to maintain our friendship, but sometimes when you just want to talk to somebody who knows where you're coming from, CJ is the guy to call.

**It surprised me how much power Dean still has over me. I dubbed him Dean in the first place for just this power. Not only is he a traveler and a nomad, he was to me what Dean Moriarty was to Sal Paradise - a hero, a catalyst, a peg to hang your hat on. And apparently, to some degree he still is. He's the kind of guy that naturally becomes a big cosmic force in the lives of his friends, for better or for worse. We were quite close at the beginning of high school, had a falling out for no real reason toward the end, and then reunited and ended up going to Senior Prom together as a capstone to a tumultuous bestfriendship. He's changed, though - that, or he put on a bit of a show while he was here, which he admitted was at least a part of it - he seems softer. We hadn't seen each other since New Year's 2005, and neither of us are any good on the phone so we really haven't talked much, but a lot of our old patterns of interaction fell right back into place this weekend. I remembered why I adored him so much for so many years.

*** Dean said something very significant here. I was discussing with him my old struggle with the universe about me and my art. I don't think I really expressed what I was having trouble with, but he said, "I think you're more artistic than you are talented. And that's not saying you're not talented." I think that's the answer to my question right there, and I don't think he knew it.

**** 2 cans chicken broth, 2 cans kidney beans drained, 2 cans diced tomatoes (undrained, as is everything to follow), 1 can black beans, 1 can pinto beans, 1 can kernel corn, 1 bunch green onions (chopped), 1 small white onion (chopped), 1/3 bunch fresh cilantro leaves (chopped - use the rest of the bunch for topping when the soup is done), about 1 lb. chicken (I'm guessing here - I used a full tray of raw "stir-fry chicken cuts"), and a buttload of taco seasoning and garlic salt. Cook chicken with the onions and a little bit of olive oil. Pour everything else in and let it simmer for a few hours. Also, along with the extra cilantro, I sprinkled grated Pepperjack cheese and crumbled corn chips on top of the ready-to-be-consumed soup. This is a recipe I tried to imitate off of one of Yellow's friends. On my honor as a krebscout, it's really delicious.

3 reason(s) to click here:

Kismet Keeper said...

I just went back to my high school to see "my kids" put on that musical! It's a good one. You're friends sound awesome. I want some like them!


MustacheBoy said...

Can I just say that your title comes from my favorite movie that doesn't involve aliens, lobsters, or tunnels to the earth's core. And I think it may top those, too.

I remember teaching a kid how to play sax when I was a senior, he was a freshman. His senior year, I was in town when they had a gig, and I showed up. He kept wanting me to join them onstage, but I refused. We got to jam a bit after the show though... such fun. Getting back together with people you used to do music (however seriously) with is one of my favorite experiences ever.

CJ said...

Dear Krebscout,

the things you do for my ego are rediculous.

I couldn't have smelled like old spice because i lost my deorderant in Tempe a week earlier. Maybe my body has learned to naturally secrete it.

i miss you.

i will be back in the winter for the wink wink nudge nudge.

here is a song that was written by a mutual friend who is far away, it was supposed to be country, maybe you'll like it.

I feel like i'm going to have to dig through your kreblogg until i find every entry that even mentions me in the slightest, espessially if they are all this flattering. Could you tell me about how many (numberwise) there could be?

Well i'm off to the, since we use code words, "Air Conditioning" to meet with Dean and "Ophileia," his girlfriend, and the rest of the "FoCo Hobos" which just looks cooler in parenthathies.