Friday, September 7, 2012

With a Roof Right Over Our Heads

I could sit here at quarter past midnight and talk about how I worked a crazy long day, or how I have been working so hard this week I haven't been on my bike except casually since Saturday. I could sit here and bemoan problems with my love life at the moment. Kinda don't want to.  This morning to try to keep me up instead of feeling, well, grumpy, I decided that I was going to listen to my Toots and Maytals Pandora station.  Then in the car it turned into Bob Marley.  Admittedly it has been some time since I have listened to a full Bob Marley album.  Suddenly on my drive to the synagogue I was actually enjoying the heat for a brief moment and I was taken to another space and time when this album was playing....I have, in moments of mental respite from this long day, gone back to that moment in time.

I am guessing that it is something like 1991 maybe? I lived in a quirky garage apartment on Campus Ave in University Heights.  You had to climb a ladder to get from the downstairs up to the kitchen and bathroom.  All highly illegal, I suspect now, as a rental, but was cheap.  The air was not quite as humid as it feels today, but that hot, lazy, late summer feel for San Diego.  Where all the windows are open, and you can hear the cars and people going up and down the alley arguing and laughing. The smell of cigarettes and pot wafting in from those same people slowly sauntering down that alley.  Denizens for all types of activities and my coincidental, voyeuristic eavesdropping while I cooked in my kitchen, with the windows that opened wide out from the structure.  Those beautifully invasive purple morning glories that climbed the entire side of the apartment.  Growing into my kitchen  through the open windows and cracks in the walls, winding around anything and everything, greeting me with purple blooms every morning for breakfast. It was in this kitchen I had a boom box with a cassette player sitting atop an ancient refrigerator.  This delicious piece of machinery played this sweet, rhythmic love song of summer.  If I turned it up loud enough I could hear it through out the tiny place and it even would seep out into the enclosed back yard.  By comparison to now, life was so much more simple. I was broke as fuck, but still managed to have fun now and then. I can feel the breeze blowing through the apartment and swirling through the banana trees and papyrus that dominated the yard.  I can hear the music and smell the vegan chili simmering on the stove.  I have beer in hand, sitting on the grass next to the sidewalk path that led to my apartment.  I have my brushes and acrylic paints out.  I am painting Indian influenced abstract designs (mandalas) on the squares of concrete that are my pathway.  I occasionally lay on a light flannel blanket I have spread out on the cool green grass,  just watch the clouds meander by while I absorbed the cooler breeze.  Laundry is slowly getting done and I can smell the dryer blowing the hot air and soap scent into the ambient air as well.  My cats at that time went outside and are lounging in shady areas of the yard, occasionally tumbling with each other (as they were pretty much kittens then).  Home alone. The peace that comes with that kind of solitude.  In that moment life didn't have to move fast.  Life was selfish and egocentric. I only have the perspective now to see that. It didn't feel that way in that moment, but reflecting on it, I choose to remember what felt to be the ideal of that moment in the toil of today.

1 comment:

  1. You're writing makes these memories palpable...ah for the days when health insurance wasn't important...