Thursday, November 6, 2008

Letter to Marcie: Politics

So, I am sitting here after a long election night, thinking of you and some of the things we used to talk about. I remember how we meshed politically immediately, you care for people and disdain for close-mindedness a good match to my own.

Remember when you found out Hillary was running? I remember we didn't agree on her as a good choice. I was mostly concerned with electability, because she polarized people so much. You were mostly happy a woman couls be running for president.

Well, Hillary didn't make it in. Obama did. I remember that I liked Edwards but I preferred Obama, while you liked Obama from the beginning and thought Edwards might have more important things to do.

Yeah, he did. But he did worse than neglect those, it turns out.

At any rate, the only person we both decided we did not hate on the other side, John McCain, was their choice for a Republican candidate.

Hillary and Obama fought a running, bruising battle that saw her even invoke potential assassination a la Bobby Kennedy... a definite low moment. In the end, Obama prevailed and our polarized party pulled together for a big battle.

McCain was not doing well at first, but he managed to shake things up by picking a woman as his running mate... Srah Palin. Wow, what a crazy, apparently ignorant thing she was. She helped for all of five minutes.

Obama just moved forward with poise and grace, and he won. We have that Black president you thought would never happen. What a moment it was when they called it for Obama. People cried, sweety. I didn't until I got home.

Regardless that Palin claimed she could see Russia from her front door in Alaska, or that she did not know that Africa was a continent, or that she did not know who was part of NAFTA, consider that the Republicans offered the first female vice president
while the Democrats offered the first black president.

Looks like America was in the mood for the greater of two changes. Strange, huh?

I am pretty proud of my country right now. I wish we had been here to toast it and discuss it, as we did every election.

I walked my precinct again for the Dems, and man was it heartening. It was similar to 2004 but there were some great things missing... like you.

I missed my hug when I came home, your smile and your pride and encouragement for me, but I know that you are watching, and I know some time I will hear about it all... the good and the bad, since you departed me. Maybe in a dream, who knows?

I miss you, but the world is being kinder to me these days, and I just feel like somehow you are helping that along in your own way.

I love and miss you,


Monday, November 3, 2008

Letter to Marcie-Sweet days in the sun

The fall sunset, so special still...

Saturday I was watching one happen from the rooftop of Park Manor Suites as two new friends tied the knot. I so remember seeing one just like it one cool November evening and I glanced over to old Mister A's.

"This was way too expensive," you said.

I nodded. It was. But I wanted to have a special night with you, and I had gotten it. And all the extra hours in the world could not make that any less of a thrill. I was so in love with you.

The fires up north created a spectacular backdrop to the ceremony Saturday. It was so close to our night above the city, I swear.

I felt you hold my hand again as I closed my eyes and clasped my little glass of Crown Royal. I listened to the wind and the crowd and went back. I remembered the smell of your Fendi and the slinky slide of your top against my chest as we swayed.

I remembered the long kiss and the feel of your nose in the crook of my neck, then the soft weight of your head against my chest and your hair in my hands as I rubbed your nape gently.

"I love you," you said.

It was just one of the many times you had, but it is distinct. And Saturday I danced with mothers and grandmothers and wives and two new brides, and thought of you. And I smiled for them because of it.



Letter to Marcie-Halloween

It's another little gift you gave me. In 1993, I had not celebrated Halloween for 10 years. I just didn't see the sense in it. But you prevailed upon me to take another look at the holiday.

"So I was thinking we shoul do something for Halloween," you said.

'Hmm... dinner, dancing and gymnastics?' I thought. 'Maybe in costume for the last two? Helllloooooo nurse!'

"Well, what do you have in mind, Miss Stoddard?" I asked, trying to be suave.

"Let's go to Ralph's and get pumpkins to carve!" you blurted out. "We'll have some dinner and then we'll hand out candy. It'll be great. We get a few kids and all of my crazy neighbors come every year for candy. It'll be so fun!"

I guess the silence on the other end of the line tipped my hand. I was a bit taken aback, certainly. "I don't really do that on Halloween, usually," I said.

"Well, what do you do?" you asked, the edge of pre-annoyance (my name for that 'why didn't you just agree with me like you are supposed to' tone you had) definitely there.

"Well, usually I just hang out with friends and maybe go dancing or drinking or hit the beach for a bonfire," I offered. The truth was, I just used it as an excuse to party. I hadn't worn a costume in a decade.

"Well, I love Halloween and I would really like it if you would come over and carve a pumpkin with me, but I understand if you want to go out and get drunk with your friends," you said, matter-of-factly. "Some people need to do that."

Oh, it did sting, but it was effective. "No, that does sound fun," I said. "I'll tell you in class tomorrow. Maybe we can go to a party after trick or treaters stop coming by?"

"I work the next day," you said flatly. "Listen, I've gotta go, but I'll see you tomorrow. You know, you really don't have to if you don't want to. I understand and I won't be mad if you want to do your own thing."

It stung for sure. You would have been hurt, I could tell.

"You know what, let's get pumpkins tomorrow," I said. "Even if I don't hand out candy, we can have some fun and hang out making a mess."

"OKAY! OKay, we'll take the 7 after class," you said. "Oh, I am so excited! I can't wait to see what you carve."

And the die was cast. I read three articles on pumpkin carving that night and decided I had to make this a good Halloween. We carved them that night and yours was a wonderful one-tooth with a pointy grin and evil eyes.

I somewhat missed the mark. I made the theater faces in pumpkin but they lacked menace. "They look very nice," you said. "But they are not very Halloween, are they."

I guess vindication came in the form of your gay neighbors' exclamation. "Oh, my god, I want to take these home. These are the coolest. Can I have them?"

You shrugged and pointed at me, saying "Ask him, he made them."

Two days later I had a fittingly menacing and imperfect pumpkin to put next to yours as the stream of patrons began. I remember your black hat and gown, and the huge witch nose from CVS.

You were otherwise so cute... but that green nose...

It was my first Halloween in ten years. Last year, just two days after you left us, I handed out candy to the neighborhood kids. You were so happy at the anumber of them we got at our little house.

I knew you were there with me, and even if I had a very hard time doing it, I learned from you well, and I took a guess at each child's costume. This year, tyhe hulk, Darth Vader and devils were prominent.

Thank you for helping me understand the joy of the whole thing. This was a special holiday for you since you learned about it. For me, it was a special holiday for us because we got to be kids together, and simply play.

It was a sweet time of year for us, Marcie.

Of course, I noticed the perennial favorite... all the little witches in their regalia. There were plenty of those, but I could have used one more.