Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Sunday, March 16, 2008

A week ago my beloved spouse and I had date night, made possible by the kid sleeping over next door. The kid has enormous tonsils (not a problem at this time, say the docs) and the snore of a person several times his weight and age.

After we made arrangements for the sleepover, my beloved spouse told me that the last time he slept over, the next-door neighbor kid woke up and crept into her parents’ room.
“Mommy, there’s a wolf in my room.”

“No, sweetheart, you just had a bad dream.”

“No, Mommy, the Big Bad Wolf is in my room. I heard it!”

Our neighbor investigated her daughter’s room. The Big Bad Wolf was our son, snoring away.

* * *

That afternoon, before the sleepover and date night, I took the kid and the neighbor kid to listen to Pacific Northwest Native (S’Klallam tribe) storyteller Roger Fernandez. Two wonderful stories, humorous and resonant, beautifully told. One mentioned “the cycle of life” and for the time being the affliction of continual thoughts of mortality that has intermittently gripped me for a couple of years now loosened. I felt as if a cloud had lifted.

The kids absorbed the stories. Rapt. We all were.

The cycle of life. Good to remember.

* * *

Yesterday I took the kid to a St. Patrick’s Day parade. We saw five friends in the parade. A junior-high group wearing kelly-green bowlers cheered when one of them gave a hat to the kid and he put it on. He wore it the rest of the day and my pockets were stuffed with the candy that paraders threw. A junior-high marching band playing the Santana (and Tito Puente) hit “Oye Como Va” was choice. And a bagpipe group played “Amazing Grace” sweetly and powerfully.

* * *

Date night was fun. We saw a film in which Fats Waller figures prominently, but at the culmination of the plot, which is all about Waller, the soundtrack played the Duke Ellington tune, “Solitude.” I love that tune -- I based the only film soundtrack I have made on that song -- but I wanted to hear Waller at that moment.

(My one soundtrack was for a film by my friend Ross Lipman, which he is showing on April 13 in Seattle along with other work; my band is playing that night too -- hope you can make it!)

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