Matters Of Little Consequence

Sunday August 5, 2007: The plane banked hard as it took its slot inside a gaggle of interloping tin birds looking to scavenge solid ground for a spell. My window seat provided me a dashboard view of a town whose skyline was a soothing weep of mayhem and mystery, built on hard promises, like a dice game that never gets finished.

Chicago is a stylized ritual of muck and mortar neighborhoods wrestling the waist of high spire glass totems whose fire spills out genius dreamers hopped up on caffeine and anti-depressants. From the sky, none of that matters because it’s a seductive postcard whose come hither purrs love songs from a time so lost to present day, you wouldn’t even bother pasting it to a milk carton.

It had been more than a decade since I’d been to Chi town, and lots had changed. Harry Caray had gone to that big ballpark in the sky and Michael Jordan had retired for good. On the positive side of the ledger, the White Sox had broken a billy goat curse which allowed Shoeless Joe to finally rest in peace. And a Senator named Barack was making big noise on the national level, threatening to make Chicago politics something much more relevant than a punchline reserved for happy hour.

The truth is, the nostalgia didn’t mean a thing to me. I would have been plenty fine meeting her at an Applebee’s in Fargo, North Dakota. Because from the get, it really felt like the moon was throwing us a ladder and the stars were giving us a chance and Al Green was cleaning his soulful pipes for us as if we were close personal friends. And when nothing else matters the way nothing else was mattering to me right then? Well . . I knew I was fucked.

Yes, I should have been a touch spooked by her Shakespearean tragedy of a family history, but I wasn’t cutting or running. It was as if I was provoking the damnedest parts of me into turning another page of this mystery novel called Her. Because she was my favorite Elvis Costello song without even trying.

I stepped off the plane and began reacquainting myself with O’Hare, which always reminded me of a movie set, replete with a full-throated cast of characters bustling around as if there were medals in the offing. I made my way upstairs and then out into the street where I began looking for my ride. I scanned left to right and back again. Nothing. And then a thought rushed up on me before I could stop it. What if she had second thoughts about this meeting?

And then I turned to find her standing by the side of her car looking right at me. She was double take beautiful, with crazy blonde hair that rained down her shoulders. And I was going to be the guy every other guy would envy as soon as I swooped her up.

When I turned and began walking in her direction, she loosed a shy girl smile in my direction as her eyes turned away from mine before they could give too much away. I walked up to her and lifted her into an embrace to make it real. Her response let me know what the rest of our afternoon was going to look like.

I had made reservations at a DoubleTree near her place. As far as her kids were concerned, she had decided against introductions on my initial trip out to see her. We had agreed that it was important to see what our dynamic was going to feel like once we were in the same place at the same time.

It didn’t take long to figure us out, though. As we knocked back a couple of lagers, we talked and laughed and finished each other’s sentences as if we’d been doing it for a lifetime. It felt so much more relevant than a simple connection to another individual. And while I had never really believed in soul mates, she was changing my mind with every spell binding turn.

We went for a walk afterwards, to spin away any of the residual anxiety we might have been holding onto. And that’s when I brought her into me for our first real kiss; a kiss that crushed time into a velvety plush. It wasn’t simply a kiss. No. From that moment on, we would refer to the moment when clarity knocked on our door as The Kiss.

It was the end of the world as we knew it.

62 thoughts on “Matters Of Little Consequence

  1. I am such a sucker for this series. You really do pull me into the scene. I feel like I was at the airport watching this moment. I click out of the post with a smile on my face.

    Forgive me for one moment as I go all Chicago on you. I thought the billy goat curse was placed on the Chicago Cubs by Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis and the curse of Shoeless Joe was a scapegoat superstition and “the reason” the Chicago White Sox could not win the World Series from 1917 until 2005. Now if that is incorrect my dad has some explaining to do!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ella, you are right! But Imma leave it . . it’s a kitschy error, and one I should have caught. But I kinda dig that you found it! Chitown in the house!

      Shoeless Joe got jobbed. He should be in the Hall, no doubt about it. And that Sox team of ’05 was a bunch of professionals with an old school manager in Guillen.

      Liked by 1 person

        • I’m keeping it in.

          I think it’s so sad that with all the controversies that have swirled around the game over the last couple decades, people have completely forgotten that Shoeless Joe got screwed.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well, I am a numbers person and if you look at it based on numbers his stats add up to a man trying to win a world series. When I learned he was illiterate it all made more sense. I can see how how he could easily be taken advance of by the team’s lawyer. Put on trial, acquitted, and still punished. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yep. He batted .375 with a homer in eight games. Nothing about that stat line suggests he was trying to throw a game. But you’re right, they were able to take advantage of him. It is a blight on the game and always will be that he is not in the Hall.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Okay, Pilgrim. Your kind of writing makes me want more. More of everything. Describe more places, emotions, sounds, and kisses. You are a master and I love going with you every time. (That is what it feels like).Ole Frank grabbed my opening word, “damn,” so I’ll just use another. Great.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. B,

    I feel like a broken record when I tell you that your writing is sublime. You have drawn us into your scene so that we can feel the dip of the plane, the buzz of Chicago your moment of doubt and your relief/excitement at seeing her waiting for you.

    I know you were willing to meet her anywhere if you include an Applebee’s! πŸ˜‰

    And, that is definitely a smart thing to keep the kids out of it in the beginning. I have met a potential beau’s kids on a first meeting and it is most disconcerting.

    Nothing beats that instant familiarity you can find with someone over lunch and a couple of pints! Feeling like you’ve known the other forever.

    And that walk leading up to the KISS – Swoonworthy πŸ™‚

    Perfect song, of course. Exceptional writing, B.

    Q

    Liked by 1 person

    • Q,

      As I said to Boss, I was writing it whilst seeing it as it was happening. All over again. I don’t remember feeling nervous, probably because I was so fucking nervous that it was messing with my brain and telling me I wasn’t nervous!

      Applebee’s was our inside joke, as we both detested the place. So it was like “What do you feel like?” And if one of the kids provided an answer we weren’t crazy about we would finish with “So . . Applebee’s”. LOL

      I wasn’t that smart. The first few women I dated, they met the kids. And then it occurred to me, that maybe it wasn’t the best idea to go that route.

      Ours was the idea that the universe had somehow planned our meeting from the very start. Kismet, or the idea of such a thing, it’s a potent drug.

      I remember getting lost inside it.

      Old Blue Eyes can kick it up, can’t he?

      Thank you lovely. πŸ˜‰

      B

      Liked by 1 person

      • B,

        I hear you! And to go back there today must have brought on the rest that goes with this whole story…

        LOL on the ApplebeeΓ¨’s… I’ve told you that we would always stop on our way down to the Jersey shore because, as far as ‘Murican chains go, we knew we could find something to eat that everyone enjoyed πŸ˜‰ Plus, driving through a snowstorm once, the manager gave us a care package for the road. So, we can’t totally diss ’em!

        Well, you are a man…

        Of course you had to have that idea. It was hot and heavy in the written exchanges and I can well imagine over the phone as well. In person, it had to feel like it was meant to be.

        Sigh… getting lost inside a kiss. Who doesn’t want to have that at least once in their life?

        That he can. He was the king of the crooners.

        You bet πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s funny because I remember walking past Quinn Buckner that first time back in Chi town. Buckner had been a coach and TV personality, well known in the Midwest. It was just one of those odd sightings that took my mind off the matter at hand, if only for a moment, LOL.

          FYI, their Tequila Lime Chicken was pretty tasty. So hey, I can hate and still have a positive story to share about the place at the same time. πŸ™‚

          Last I looked.

          It really did. It was one of those moments where you think to yourself, a meteor could just hurtle down into the earth right now and that would be okay.

          If you’re lucky, you get more than one.

          My son was raised on Sinatra and Monk, so it’s why his sensibilities always gravitate to the old school ways.

          πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

          • Whatever works πŸ˜‰ Sometimes the Universe gives us a little sumthin’ to help us through stuff.

            Right… it was tasty as were a few other items πŸ˜‰

            LOL! Of course, I meant in the sense of men and women don’t think of certain things in the same way – mind you, you are more in tune, usually but then your senses were otherwise addled.

            Without dying from a meteor, I know what you mean. You are totally in the moment and all is fab.

            If you’re lucky indeed.

            Nice. I think it’s a good genre to be raised on.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Hey! That’s a great title for a book. The Universe Rides Shotgun.

            We’re still talking about Applebee’s right? Buahahaha!

            My senses were definitely addled (Good word). But having been raised by women and having women as my security detail, they have always contributed inner sanctum knowledge. Mind you, knowing this much has its disadvantages for sure. But, at the end of the day . . .

            The meteor thing was major hyperbole, huh?

            They don’t call luck ‘Lady’ for nothing.

            The classics never go out of style.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oooh. I like that. Might have to steal it!

            Yeah, yeah. Stawp.

            Having been raised by women and having them as your security detail definitely gives you a leg’s up. A man’s gonna do what he’s gonna do…it is what it is… πŸ˜‰

            Of course. I use it coz of “Dead Like Me”

            Maybe for you men… what about us? Now I have my mind on getting lost in a kiss. Sigh.

            They never do.

            Liked by 1 person

          • That’s a keeper, eh?

            Buahahahahaha! That round goes to Canada!

            Dead Like Me?

            I had Sinatra kicking it up this morning. The run, the java and Old Blue Eyes doing his thing on the morning chill.

            Liked by 1 person

          • It’s on the list, just so you know.

            I didn’t have any more beaten down and milked thrice cliches to hit you with. I guess that’s a good thing.

            Yes, I remembered then.

            Daily goal step met by 8 am bebe!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Hell, it’s out there. It’s fair game. And by out there, I mean whoever chooses to read that particular comment, LOL. So yeah, it’s yours.

            I gave it my best, but my best just wasn’t good enough. But hey, it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game.

            Kinda.

            Liked by 1 person

          • ‘Tis true.

            We do? We do!!

            All jokes aside. You have been rocking it, big time and I want you to know how impressed and proud I am of you (yeah, I know, that sounds silly… but I am!)

            Liked by 1 person

          • Of course it is.

            Ties aren’t just for suits.

            Why thank you. I summoned my former athlete this past week and the results did make me feel pretty damn good, not gonna lie. I am thankful that I’ve always stayed active, because what with all my partay, at least it gave me some balance, LOL

            Liked by 1 person

          • πŸ™‚

            This is true. Or shitty restaurant work uniforms.

            And you should feel glad. Balance is definitely good. Not getting any younger so it’s all the more important to keep them parts oiled and working

            Liked by 1 person

          • Or Miami Dolphins games . . .

            The only sport I would never take up again would be boxing. Not that I still don’t absolutely love it, but I just ain’t down with getting my brain jostled again. It’s funny, because every once in a while I think to myself “I could still take a straight punch to the jaw and keep moving forward” and then I go ” Why in the blessed fuck would I want to?” But it is a rush nonetheless, or was.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, no need to be secretive about it. I know you, along with everybody I know, would threaten to kick my ass if I ever climbed in the ring again. Ain’t happening. Hey, I never got my nose broken, so as far as I’m concerned, it was a win!

            Liked by 1 person

          • I’ve broken a nose, and it wasn’t pleasant. For him, LOL. I mean, I didn’t realize it until he was bleeding all over me and then I wanted to knock his ass down so I didn’t have to deal with it. It’s a truly barbaric sport, but on the plus side, I can handle myself quite well even at my advanced age. I ain’t worried about bar fights or the like, πŸ˜‰

            Liked by 1 person

          • Buahahaha! I was just going to say the same thing. And umm . . you really should see “Once Upon a Time” at some point. Quentin Tarantino’s penultimate flick. He’s gonna do one more movie and then hang ’em up.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Of course you were! Wish me luck on rain tomorrow coz I would go! And this was a labour of love for him so maybe that’s why it’s different. I hope to chat about it with ya soon!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Some of his fans don’t like it at all. Just so long as they don’t insist he remake it (like those crazy GOT fans did), no worries, lol. It’s plenty fine if they don’t like it. But he is still the boss of his work, and he can make it any way he wishes. I thought there was a genius aspect to it, and I will say no more. For now.

            Liked by 1 person

          • One friend said it was good – usual violence and gore as per Tarantino but said nothing else. I admit I hesitated because of that but now that you have said the little you have, wish rain for me this afternoon πŸ˜‰

            Liked by 1 person

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