Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A Little Rickie

You might meet me tomorrow, as all the lights are blooming green. And you’re feeling a little lonely, a little sad, a little mean.
Livin’ It Up-Rickie Lee Jones

Listening to Rickie always makes me want a drink and a cigarette, and I don’t even smoke. She wraps her boozy voice around lyrics written in shades of blue, indigo and midnight and hugs us with her hurt. It’s surprisingly therapeutic, and I like to hear her voice when I’m feeling a little lonely, a little sad and a little mean. I feel that way sometimes, even when life is good. Not in a depressed, hopeless way. Just in brief spurts that pop up when I’m craving the solitude I relish. When I’m in need of a little peace and reflection. When I need to reminisce and recharge. And sweep out the dusty corners of my mind. It’s at these times I like to sit in the hot tub after dark and soak under a swirling sky.

March 17th, 2008
I slip into the hot water, leaving off all the lights. I don’t want to draw attention to myself. I want to be a silent observer, blending into the landscape as if I don’t really exist. To be a part of nature and its nocturnal beauty. I tilt my head back and look at the sky. There are stars tonight. They are beautiful, but I long for the tempest of clouds that usually holds court this time of year, fast moving clouds that race across the sky in search of a place to gather and weep. I smell the dampness of the air and catch a whiff of new grass. Before long the grass will turn bright green, and my friend summer will come home to stay a while. Until then I must be satisfied with spring’s teasing temperatures and pastels. The tinkle of tiny charms hanging from the patio umbrella whisper in my ears, and the dog in the next yard barks briefly at a distraction. My neighbors are tucked in their homes under the flicker of televisions and the glow of lights. All is calm. The wind sprays a mist of water onto my face. I close my eyes and drink in the quiet. I search for the source of my discontent.

The source does not come to me right away. How can I not feel good when life is so good? Why do I feel just a little bit empty on this day? My mind races back in time, and eventually I realize I am longing for my youth. It’s the changing of the seasons. Spring is a time of renewal. I want to be new again. Or at least newer than I am now. I miss the recklessness and optimism of my youth. The memories are flooding back. I am six and running under the cloak of dusk, chasing my cousins in a game of tag and then lightening bugs in my grandparents’ yard. I am ten and walking through the darkened yard to feed the dogs. I search for the big dipper in the sparkly sky above my head, wondering about the excitement in busier parts of the world and whether or not I will one day be a part of that. I am thirteen, reading by flashlight long past my bedtime and yearning for the beauty I find between the pages of romance novels. I am eighteen and sitting under another starry sky innocently swapping dreams with my first love. I foolishly imagine this feeling with last forever, despite the nagging doubts that are already in the back of my head. I am twenty-three and listening to the laughter of a lover who sits across the table from me in a darkened restaurant and captivates me with the stories of his adventurous past. I long for the same kind of adventure. I am twenty-five and rolling through the inky waves of the river on a boat driven by the bearded man who has captured my heart. We slow so he can pick out a path in the darkness, and I realize as I watch him study the landscape that I will marry him. It is an exhilarating and yet sobering thought.

It is here my memories start to jumble. They blend and sputter until I am tired of running down memory lane. I open my eyes and smile. The clock says twenty minutes have passed. All is still calm. The neighbor’s dog barks again. I see the motion light go on next door as Mr. R. lets his dog out for his 9pm walk. There is comfort in consistency, in the familiarity of my surroundings and my life. Sameness isn’t so bad, I think. Not as exciting as the unknown that follows youthful adventures, but reassuring. I decide to soak a little longer. I am not ready yet to be happy, again. Almost, but not quite. I tilt my head back up to the sky and hum a little Rickie.


Mama Mia said...

Please tell me you are saving these beautiful musings for your future book?

Jason said...

Yes, when ARE you going to write that book? You have such talent. This one described so well how most of us feel at one time or another. I especially loved the last line...

Jason said...

Okay, I mean the second and third to the last lines...about not being ready to be happy again.

Amy said...

You write beautifully!
I felt like I was watching you as I read it (in a non-creepy, non-stalker kind of way).:)
God Bless!

hulagirlatheart said...

Thank you. You are all very kind. I am fiddling with some basic plot ideas, and as soon as I can decide a general course, I plan to begin. Check with me in about thirty years. I should be done then. I appreciate your encouragement.