Saturday, October 31, 2009

417 Texas Street

It's late, I should be asleep, but I can't. Sleep, that is. Hubby and I went out tonight, to a lovely place called Noble Savage Tavern. It's the kind of place that if you go there often, you might blend in with the crowd and become pathetic, but we don't, so it maintains it's unique, quirky edge. It's lovely for many reasons but one of the main reasons is the's divine.

The place is located downtown, on historic Texas Street. You've got to love the name...Wikepedia refers to the phrase as "the normal essence of an unfettered human."
I think I could live the rest of my life by that phrase. Unfettered. How I long to be unfettered.

Tonight, I met some really cool people. I'm sure their stories are amazing and maybe one day soon, I'll get a glimpse of those stories, but for now, names and shadows are all I have.

There's Narcolepsy Guy. No, I didn't meet him personally, but hubby and Rump (the boss) pointed him out with his oh-so-appropriate-name. He looked like he was about to fall asleep at any moment. He was a big guy, at a round table, surrounded by friends and family, wearing a lumberjack plaid shirt. Apparently, the guy's really intelligent but is known to literally slam his head into the bar or tabletop when he falls asleep, unexpectedly, if the conversation doesn't hold his interest. Now, I don't know a lot about narcolepsy, but seriously? If I were to talk to narcolepsy guy I think I would feel a tremendous amount of pressure to keep the conversation lively. Before I even met the guy, I would probably do days worth of research to make sure I had plenty to talk about. Because sometimes you can fake a nice conversation, throw in a tid-bit here and there to fake interest, but if there's a chance that someone can fall flat on his face into a deep snooze while I'm talking, all I'm saying is, I'm gonna have some interesting conversational pieces. Talk about pressure. Sheez.

And then there's Growler. I had no idea what a growler was. It's sort of a jug and this guy brings his own for his beer. The bartender knows him and fills it up...the growler. He's authentic, he says. The growler. He's young, messy, has curly dark hair, is slightly overweight, wears black t-shirts with witty slogans and geeky Clark Kent glasses. And when he introduced himself, he, well, um, slightly growled. Or mumbled, mixed with a growl. He's also known as the Drunken Prophet. Apparently, he growls words of wisdom after a "growler" of beer, like this...THE END IS NEAR, BUY ME A BEER!

I know, I know, the guy's a modern day Walt Whitman.

And then there's Chef. He's a whole weeks worth of stories. He owns the place, cooks amazing, gourmet, Top Chef type dishes with ingredients that you've never even heard of, and he's also the hardest, crudest, cursing-est (I made the word up) guy I've ever met. He told me once that he used to smoke weed until they started coming out with designer weed, and it become so potent and complicated that he became edgy and extremely paranoid, so he went back to heroin. Really. He eats bullets for breakfast. But cooks the most beautiful food that I've ever had the pleasure of eating.

I love this place.

For a few hours, a few times out of the year, I have the privilege of meeting some of the most colorful people that I've ever met.

Check it out, if you're in town. It's worth a visit.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sweet Ride

I went for a run Sunday. That's right, I got off my fat butt and enjoyed the brief day of sunshine. Down by the river, no less. Okay, I walked. Briskly. I only started running when I saw someone approaching and then gave them the nod and a look that said "Whew! We are some kind of healthy running people, aren't we?" As soon as they passed, I dropped back into my "brisk" walk, panting like a big, sweaty dog. Still, I felt really good about myself and when I got home, hubby asked "How was the walk?"

"Run. You mean run. I ran."

"Yeah, that's what I meant. How was the run?"

"Great! Beautiful! I need a bike."


"A bike. I need a bike. I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike," I hummed. Freddy Mercury would have been proud.

So later, to make a long story short, the love of my life went out for awhile and returned with this...

I feel like a little kid. Of course, the rain has set back in so I haven't ridden it yet but what the's waiting for me!

I've got a bike...and the best man in the world.

Look for me on the open road, people. I'll be the overweight middle-aged woman with blue Adidas tennis shoes and one pant leg rolled up, grinning like a kid and pedaling like a maniac.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Random Man

I once knew this man named Wes. He went to my father's church. Sometimes he was homeless and lived in his station wagon, full of his belongings, packed to the ceiling. Sometimes he lived in rent homes of some of his clients...he was a painter. He would sleep on the floor on blankets until he finished the job. He was probably in his 50's. I'm using the past tense but as far as I know, he's still around. People tell me they see him from time to time.

Wes had crazy, white hair that almost looked like it had been taped around his head, like a fake Santa Clause beard. He was bald in the center. He had no teeth and he seemed to be pretty proud of that fact. He sure talked about it all the time. He looked like he had once been very muscular and strong, like a grizzly bear, but now, his stomach was huge...mammoth. He wore white t-shirts with holes in the stomach so you could see pink flesh shining through. His jeans were always covered in paint and at least two inches too short. He wore white socks with black patent leather loafers every, single day. Rain or shine, work or play, whatever...the shoes were always shined to perfection.

He breathed so loudly and whistled through his nose that you could hear him coming from around the corner.

I worked in the church office and Wes made an appearance daily. Sometimes, more than once. Sometimes three, four times. We called him random man. We'd see him pull up in his old station-wagon, watch him walk up the sidewalk and then he'd burst in the office...whistling through his nose and panting. And usually, he'd have some random gift to bestow on one of us who worked there. He loved flea markets. Sometimes, on trash days, he'd cruise the local neighborhoods, looking through their thrown away items, finding treasure. He brought us boots, tiny books, salt and pepper shakers, license plates, old cassette tapes, paddles, a rusted golf club, coffee cups with broken handles.

He never came in empty-handed. It was if he felt he had to pay a price to visit. And that's all he wanted. Just to visit. Just someone to acknowledge his existence. When he couldn't find a trinket to bring, he'd come in with a riddle or a joke. Sometimes just an odd quote, like, "The man who works hard from morning to night never thirsts for water." I'm pretty sure he made them up, or adapted them from scriptures. Then he'd ask for a cup of coffee. Then he'd sit down. And whistle through his nose. And tell stories.

Wes's father was a horrible, alcoholic, violent man. But even when he told us stories about how terrible he was, there was something in his voice that sounded proud. Like the time he told us how once his father hit him so hard that he literally knocked him out of his boots. "One minute, I was standin' there in my boots, the next, I was flat on my back in my stockin' feet. The boots were still standin' there in front of me, just like my feet were still in 'em." I always wanted to cry when he told me that story. He liked it though. He told it at least once a month.

One time, I went to the bank and when I got back, Wes had set the table in the breakroom with paperplates, plastic forks and spoons, and a little vase with a daisy, in the center. Next to the daisy was a KFC bucket. He gestured grandly to the table, like one of the Price Is Right models, and pulled my chair out. I had eaten lunch while I was out, but he seemed like it was important to him, so I sat down and fixed a plate and told him how nice everything was. He probably told a joke or two, or a story, I don't remember. I was a little uncomfortable because I didn't know if he was trying to be romantic or just to create a nice memory. Maybe a little of both. When we were done, he thanked me for having lunch with him. I wondered how many lunch dates Wes had been on in his life. And I wondered what had happened to him in all those years between the time he was knocked out of his boots, and now.

We eventually left the church and I've only seen Wes once since then. Sometimes you meet people and you wonder why they're in your life. Sometimes they even annoy you. But for whatever reason, your paths cross for a little while and they become a part of who you are by becoming part of your memories. And you become a part of theirs. And then you never see each other again.

Sometimes you think about them from time to time and kind of miss them, like Wes.

Random man.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


My parents have been married for 46 years. She's from Delaware and he's from Louisiana so it's pretty cool the way that they met. My father was attending college in Cleveland, Tennessee and at the time, dating my mother's sister. My mother was one of three girls in her family and she was the one who always felt like the runt. Her sisters were outgoing and courageous and full of confidence. Not so much, my mother. She never saw herself as beautiful or special, even though she was, and still is. My father took a road trip to Delaware with his girlfriend to meet the family, and he met, and fell in love with my mother. Awkward. But 46 years later, they're still in love. Forty-six years is plenty of time to build hurt and resentment but it's also plenty of time to build a story. A pretty good story, too.

So here's a poem that I wrote back in college celebrating who they were. It's taken from a photo of the two of them that I used to stare at in the midst of a really, bad patch that they went through. I thought they hated each other. But I had this photograph that showed such passion and youth, it fascinated me. Still does.

Beneath the Stairs

Your sister was the one. She brought
a Louisiana boy to the frigid state
of Delaware. Gangly, smelling of Noxzema,
he stumbled into your life
on her slender arm.
She was the popular one, the one
that boys talked about in locker rooms.
The one with the feminine curves,
dimpled smile and brilliant blue eyes.
Mother, you often said that you
were her negative. But even so,
before that weekend was over,
weren't you the one he was kissing
on the floral love seat,
beneath the stairs?
Someone, not your sister, captured
that moment in a photo and everytime
I look at it, I still cannot believe
you ever kissed him so passionately.
Today, you talk of wifely duties
and I wonder, when did you lose
her, that passionate girl necking
on her mother's love seat with a boy
from Louisiana?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Let The Sunshine In

Welcome to my newly remodeled blog...courtesy of my webmaster, Diahn. It was time to move some things around and let in some sunshine! And since I'm a complete dolt when it comes to computer graphics, Dino stepped in as my general contractor. I love the new the header, especially. We also gave her a new permanent home in the sidebar for her new etsy shop. Check it out...she's a genius. Send her some love and buy some art! And don't just stop there once, she's always adding new pieces to the collection and the best is yet to come. Thanks, D.


I recently read an amazing book by Donald Miller, also in the sidebar...A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. If you like to read and appreciate the form of the story, you should check it out. It's a well written, humorous, contemplative book about the stories that we are all living. And how you can change, or jumpstart, your story if it's meaningless. That sentence doesn't do it justice because it makes it sound so trite, and it's anything but trite. My favorite line is "I feel written. My emotions and desires, feel written." Beautiful.

Now, I'm thinking about my story and how I can change it. Not that I'm dissatisfied...I'm the happiest that I've ever been. But, my story can be better, more alive, more fulfilling. I'll let you know how that works out. And I'm also thinking of how other's stories are tangled up with mine...and how amazing that is. And how we learn and love and grow, together. Our stories overlap and wind around each other creating a beautiful and rich narrative.

And while I'm not completely sure how, or in what ways, the change will manifest itself, I know this book has transformed the way I view my life. How fitting that just as I finished reading it, Diahn remodeled the blog and we both came up with, through an hour long texting brainstorming session, the tagline "what your mother never told you about happily ever after." Because while this blog is titled "Lunar Epilogues", the ending is also a beginning. And that's exactly what my life feels like at the moment...a beginning.

So, I think I'm going to start putting some stories here. Not fiction, but stories that I observe and live and hear about. Stories that deserve to be written. Someone once told me that she thinks I meet a lot of interesting people and it's true...very interesting. Sometimes downright odd. Sometimes inspiring. She said to me that she thinks God puts these people in my path because I can tell their stories. That maybe, I'm supposed to tell their stories. I'm not sure about that, but I think it's a cool idea.

Here's to new beginnings and all of our stories and how they intertwine.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, October 04, 2009


So many times in life, I feel as if things are out of my control. And sometimes, they are. Truth be known, probably more than not. But if I know one thing, and one thing only, my friends are my choice and they are the one of the best gifts I will ever receive.

I found an old friend a couple of weeks ago, or she found me...the Beckster. Doesn't matter, I had looked for her before and not found her. It's been so cool to re-connect and see the parallels in our lives. She was my best friend from eighth grade until my husband and I left for Florida, with $500.00, to start a new life...with $500 dollars. Yeah, we were that stupid. We ended up living in a tent on the beach in Panama City, but that's another story. After that, go figure, Becky and I somehow lost touch and now, we're emailing and she's sending me links to the coolest music I've heard in a while...Nathan Lee. He rocks and so does she. We loved Carol Burnett, Grease (the movie, not, um, grease), Nike tennis shoes and Levi's jeans, among other things. She had a horrible dog named Dusty that humped everything in sight and a little sister that we tortured. Literally, we tortured her. So much so, that in this day and age, we would be put on trial and viewed as terrorists. I'm not proud of it, just saying. Waterboarding has nothing on us.

Here's to old friends...and torturing younger siblings.