Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Eastern Visit

I took a week off to visit Boston and catch up with family and friends. Despite taking my laptop I didn't write a word, and despite writing insightful and hilarious blog posts in my head, and despite being certain that I could just recall the many details, well, as it turns out, that's not true.

So, let's see what I can remember.

Attended my first ordination: an old theater friend was being made a deacon in the Episcopal church. The Episcopal church retains all of the cool things about Roman Catholicism (soaring, opulent architecture; stained glass, gothic pews, and that great Church Smell). Unfortunately, it also retains a long liturgy, and way too many anglo-centric, unsingable hymns (seriously: ALL FIVE verses?!?!)

For communion, they set up various stations in order to divvy up the church so that each ordinant could participate in serving communion. It was also a bonus that that sped things up a bit.

And there was indeed a gluten-free station.

My friend, "Dan," was a chalice bearer in a rear corner. I hid behind a tall guy as the line proceeded, and Dan saw me as I stepped forward to take a small piece of pita bread from his communion partner. I turned to him.

I grinned, delighted for him. Here was the guy who'd handcuffed me in the last scene of a cheesy murder-mystery spoof, standing in a white Jedi-like garb holding a communion cup.

"And what have we here?" I said.

Dan struck a Very Serious Pose, held out the chalice, and in his great stage voice said, "The blood of Christ!"

I took the chalice, and suddenly blanked. So I improvised.

Toasting him with the chalice, I said, "Awesome!"

"This is weird," said Dan as I took a sip.

"I know," I said, hugging him.

"Just too weird."

Sunday was a barbecue at my uncle's house, where any notions I might have had about eventually having normal family relationships went out the window. My pal Ev came along. They like her and besides, I like witnesses.  We both suspect my family thinks she's my girlfriend, which is odd, but I appreciate their support for my mistakenly-identified-as-lesbian lifestyle.

Met two old college friends for dinner, and we discussed our shared issues with menopause.

"I cry at everything," I said.

"Oh my gosh -- EVERYTHING" agreed one of my friends.

"Because it's all so serious and beautiful," I rejoined, beating my breast with my fist.

Know what's great? Hanging out with people who knew you when you were at your most creative, most open, most joyful.  Who remind you of who you are.

Took my sister to a movie and lunch for her birthday. She was excited to wear 3D glasses, and she enjoyed her first taste of Ethiopian food at a place I used to go in Cambridge. It was afternoon, so the only other person there was a Ukrainian woman who now lives "on a mountain in Vermont" ("away from the traffic and the noise and the shit"). She used to come to this restaurant all the time, and makes a point of stopping in when she's in town.

The owner smiled at me. "I haven't seen you in a long time," she said. I was touched that she remembered me. I explained that it was my sister's birthday and I wanted her to have some good food.

While we ate we chatted with the Ukrainian Vermonter, and the owner brought out some ice cream with a candle in it for my sister. I left her a nice tip on my card, which she never processed. How awesome is that?

The rest of the week was a flurry of visiting friends: staying at a very dear friend's house, seeing her family and climbing some small  mountains at the foot of the Whites; lunches and dinners and seeing the Squeezebox Slam in Somerville with more awesome people, and meeting strangers whose kids had no fear of being picked up and danced with to Cajun accordion music.

It was a good week. An excellent week. I wanted to want to move back, but I can't see it working. A friend in San Francisco put it well: "I outgrew Boston but it's still where the people who know me best live." I feel like the love there is assumed; nobody has to work at it.

But Ev is tired of the extremes of weather in Boston,  and I have to say I'm ready for a city that's closer to nature. Neither of us wants to start over in a new city alone.  As she says, there's always Portland, OR. We could be not-lesbians there.

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