But the birthday was spent with my lovely folks in demure fashion, and then the next night, we got pupusas at a place on 105th and resumed cinema at the record store and I find I can't even watch campy samurai gore, preferring the more arty stylistics of Kurosawa instead, but it was good resuming the weekly ritual over dates and fruity Lebanese non-alkies. Thanksgiving was beautiful with the extended family, the babies and the cousins, and then me and band-homie drove around for awhile afterwards and ended up eating diner food and I got a lecture from the waitress about how to properly wear high heels and she seemed to be hitting on him, but it was so late and absurd I just laughed, because we're not together anyway.
I was petsitting all week for friends out of town, which afforded the chance to take long wanders around the neighborhood with the Jungle Puppy through the neighborhoods where I once lived, and the parts that I'd never walk through alone.There is so much more to see on foot and I relished the crisp mornings and the slight crunch of snow, and waking up early to go grocery shopping at the west side market before the onslaught, and sitting on the balcony eating breakfast, drinking coffee, and watching the world go by.
My neighbor and partner in crime calls me to see if I want to go down to the 'Winterfest' festivities downtown, which I know are going to be corny but it's not super-cold so we ride our bikes to the square and wander around the mall that's part flea-market-made-in-China feeling and part unaffordable corporate upscale. There is a giant cow advertising Udder Cream in the square and we watch the fireworks underneath it being shot off to Motorhead's "Run Rudolph Run," before wandering around to snark.
The whole effect was vaguely dystopian, like Brazil meets Potterville or something, an appeal to nostalgia and consumerism, tacky holiday displays, and Clevelandia's finest big shiny new toys like the bomb squad truck and the guard tower outfitted with security cameras. No, not creepy at all right? But we beat the traffic and ride back through empty streets to drink hot chocolate at the coffeeshop and listen to punk rock in his apartment.
It's strange how there can be so much beauty and revelry and then so much heartbreak at the same time, though I guess that's life, and sometimes the intensity of both only serves to highlight this. The semester's finished, the apartment is finally cleaned after really looking awful, most of the windows are plasticked over, and my class is done for good so now I can read for fun again. Never a dull moment.