Sometimes, when everything aligns itself perfectly and the world is on our side, we achieve something almost other-worldly. It's a moment, a flash, a heartbeat that speaks to the soul.
Sometimes, it lasts all night long.
Our story begins over dinner last night, at a great little restaurant I like to call Chez Mags. Tonight's menu included grilled cheese sandwiches (three kinds of cheese, really good bread, roasted red peppers and tomatoes - nirvana!) and a lovely salad. Cute Brian brought dessert - Scotch. Do we know how to live, or what?
Eventually, Kelly and Amber made it to my place from Wisconsin, and the four of us headed into the city to see Shakespeare's final show with her band, Spherical Banana. Because we're nothing if not a comedy of errors, between Amber's GPS and Cute Brian's super-human sense of direction (not to mention Kelly's cat-like reflexes) we made our way to Elbo Room. Kelly got in even without her ID (don't even ask; she can't remember who she is) and Brian and I found a place to park the car.
The band was great. Shakespeare's voice is like a whiskey-soaked rainstorm, at once intoxicating and refreshing. It doesn't hurt that she's gorgeous, either. The set was so delightful, we didn't even mind that bananas are not, in fact, spheres.
Soaking up the music drew me in to what can only be described as sensory overload. Listening to my friend sing, I was surrounded by so many of my favorite people. Never before in my life have so many of my loved ones been in one place at one time. Patrick, Dan, Javier, Ed, John, Kelly, Amber, Shakespeare, Cute Brian, me ... so many of the people whose love and friendship matters down to the depths of my soul. Relationships in which I'm confident, independently. Putting them all together was scary, intimidating, daunting.
It worked. Kelly fawned over John (seriously, have you seen his arms?) Cute Brian, Kelly, Amber and John blended like they've known each other forever. In the running for favorite moment of the night would be when a John caught a girl checking him out. "I didn't know what to do," he said. "So I looked away." Oh, John, what ARE we going to do with you?
I suffered the occasional Minor Maggie Meltdown over the course of the evening, but I'm allowing it. After all, there was so much to take in. Scotch, song, love, emotion, rhythm, truth, bacon, laughter, acceptance, reality checks and genuine affection.
These are the moments, the hours, the days that make it possible to survive the hard times. This is the finest collection of intertwined lunatics a girl could hope for. Here's to life.