041613 Exactly one month after, time quickly ducks down and quacks under a quick read across the depictions of this (earlier) post, and I was dismayed to find numerous errors and disclarity (I declare!) in its communication. So I set to and edited. It is now a less clearly vague and more discernibly unclear flowing action, revisited (sign the guest book on your way out) that is translated, like the study of dud languages. I apologize amateur-fusely (I don’t get paid for this, y’know. At least not as of its writing. It’s always later that the good stuff happens, never when I’m around) for any misconstructions you were not able to construe. I spend time and effort as if it were the money I don’t have in order to craft these offerings, and I would not de-sire the progeny of my mental facilities to be less than my best put forthisms, sore to speak. I enjoyn my likeness of worded ply ploys and get a kick out of footing the bill to your wonder and pleasure, especially, of course, if you actually start reading and clearly don’t understand what is explained to the eyes that grab and the mind that grapples, but like it anyway, as well. Join. So, have another go, perhaps even before your first, and see what there is to wonder that you’re looking at down the spurious rabbit hole of what happenstance the night around me wrapped, as I spent the day (and, if you want to get down to it, my entire existence) preparing to right that night write. Thus streams my conscious thoughts onto media that you certainly seem to be able to pick up, pack up and follow… you’ve made it this far. Carry on.
(Prelease) Sitting to transcribe my written efforts from this past Saturday night (viewed from this writing of its following Tuesday eve), I realized that the activities and subsequent efforts of the day in note, to note, ensconced myself in an inspirational environment of positive, energetic social interaction leading up to those efforts and would do well with a mention. I began writing an introduction to my remanded notebook entry of that night, relating the day and activities that led up to my actual journalized scrivveling, and ended up telling tale beyond intention, yet flowing in realized satisfaction of detailed completion of activity. So well wrought, in fact, that beyond the inspired lead in to the actual journal entry, it was an entry unto itself. Therefore, it stands alone among all its game efforts and ends at the introduction to what I eventually did write that night. I offer that lead in here, as I have yet to even try reading (it was dark, although I did have two wine glasses [lead glass?] to aid my vision, ), let alone transcribing into viable translocution and relation, my captured thoughts, the efforts in point, the pointed efforts (like a kaleidoscope) of my journal into the evening. I shall endeavor that goal forthwith, but I’m sure another few days will pass before I am satisfied with the results. I offer here the play by play say of the way of the day, so you can see what I say is so. Therefore, (played for the fair folly) wherefore the hitherto fore aforementioned foreplay foray into the day is offered forthwith for your forthright consumption. Just follow the bumping ball: Fore!
031613 Gaming The Night
Competition wrapped the afternoon in team effected play upon the sparkled cluster of crystal lake courts, spread across the inner horizon, with their shorelines and beaches bordering geometrically to contain the fields of flowing, liquid play; a raised rectangle of net, stretched across the center of the narrows to fish for errant ploys, separated two (roughly) equal, opposing, boundaried squares which contained the motion of ebb and flow to keep the ball afloat or sink it on the other side. Volleyball, anyone? A splash dash of our team’s early tournament success was tempered by a stretch of close-but-losing games, twice each to the other teams in our three team pool (swim the viscous motion of continuity bobbing along… as long as you don’t splash), thus enabling us to attain third place in that grouping. What luck: hurray. Our reward for this was to play the second place group from the other (four team) pool (it was a splash party) in the first round of playoffs. We accomplished winning with competent efficiency, and then moved on to the semi-finals against the first place team of our pool (again, for the fourth game against them), giving us opportunity to even up the score as we had beaten them one game and knew we could do it again.
However: Not so lucky. We came up a few points short once more, but felt we’d played hard, if not our best, and had no real complaints. Then we flipped a coin against the other losing semi-final squad (the second place team of our pool had beaten them, moving on to the finals against the guys, from our enduring pool, who beat us) (lucky!) the right to stay and referee the finals (proving that not all luck is good luck), while the other team could go home. (Are you following all this? If not then you and I are on even footing, so let’s step lively, time is short.) It was already after 8pm, so we were not quite enthused about this turn of events, but that’s the way the anchor floats in these kinds of pool parties. You rah, rah.
I am the designated ‘up ref’ (primary referee, on an elevated stand at one end of the net, where I could catch any fish that touch across its top) for our team, and this would be (again) the fourth time I would ref the same two teams. Step up, check out, blow whistle, play ball, watch close, make calls, repeat. The game was hard fought, close, and enjoyable to watch. Only one stop-the-match issue occurred, which, after some explanatory considerations, was handled satisfactorily well. The first place team from our original group persevered to win (for the third time of four, just like they did against us), thus proving that we had a strong pool in which to swim our collective skills. A good time was had by all, making the tournament a decisive success.
Then it was time to carry on, for St. Patrick’s Day Eve on a Saturday night held a most propitious opportunity to investigate an immediate, culturally celebratory future. It was exactly thirty-four years ago that I had one of the most intense days of my life. Remember it? There is a good bit of it that I don’t. I wrote in great length and detail (except for the fuzzy bits) about it in my book, Endless Shifting Sand (bald faced plug: Amazon), but that’s the scion of another St. Patrick’s beach bash and we must return to the crystal lake of potential for imminent notation worthy adventures yet to be transcribed.
As I was returning from my car with my bag of (non-sweaty) clothes to change into (green it up a bit), I stopped and spoke with a teammate as he was just driving out, and arranged to meet him and another mate at a local bar we had been to several months before, after a previous tournament. I said I figured I could remember where it was, so he drove on, and I went back inside to change. I also hoped to find my errant volleyball, which had never returned after one of the warm up sessions before a match. I made the dressing down alteration up to par, then prowled all around the six courts and bordering areas looking for my wayward ball, but to no avail. Phooey. My name is on it so it might come back, but it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve lost a volleyball in a tournament. More lucky breaks of the game.
I spoke the director of the facility (the setter from the winning team) about my missing ball, and said that if he found it, to keep it until the next tourney. I went out, got in the car, then headed out to find downtown and the bar. I recalled that it was located in what must have once been a bank, for tall cement pillars flanked the stolid entryway, but I wasn’t sure just where it was located in relation to where I was. I had passengered last time and not driven, so the memory was vague. With only a minimal amount of going ‘this-way’ instead of ‘that-way’ (and then regretting it), I pulled by a street that looked familiar and turned to see that I indeed had found the Rue (hopefully with no regrets) de la Established Meeting Premises. I slow cruised up the one-way street, seeking the wide open spaces of designated vehicular stationing (one space would be quite sufficient), as other cars trolled in front and behind me in congruent search. My lack of volleyball luck brought forth a more practically applied fortuitous circumstance when a vehicle parked ahead put on his back-up lights, just as the car in front of me passed it. Perfect! I waited for the exiting car (it wasn’t a false alarm, as these things sometimes pan out) to vacate, then reigned in to the hitching-post’s urban descendant, safely curbing my trusty steed within the delineated confines, and turned off the car. One of the members of the winning team strode by just then, heading toward the bar, but I didn’t have the wherewithal to catch his attention. I readied myself, stepped out, locked up and walked on back down the street to the located establishment. There were several people outside the front, on this chill end of winter night, smoking cigarettes and giving just cause to enter the intended social arena while holding my breath. There were a couple guys eyeing people as they came in, but I wasn’t asked to show identification. I took this to mean I must have been acting like I look my age, which is nothing new (old school, so to speak). I entered and time stopped fooling around as the tempo of life washed hard and fast across around my senses and sentience. The noise could kill.
Beyond that first blast of pounding air, sharp flashing lights and corybantic (thank you, Dictionarydotcom) motion, I was able to perceive the gathered crowd stretched lengthwise in a large, rectangular room, with the bar an elongated island down the middle. To the left of the bar, along the crowded way, was a wider aisle, with tables set up down (the ups and downs of the place) the center of it, and tables parallel to these along the wall, creating two separate aisles of passage. There was an overhang, created by a narrow, circumferential second floor that circled around the entire room, giving low ceiling to the tables against the wall and leaving the middle area two stories high. (I suppose I could tell the other story later, but that would be silly, wouldn’t it? Unless you’re high, of course.) The aisle to the right side of the long bar was only wide enough to permit one row of tables, against the enclosing wall, under the overhang (similar to the over and under ploy), with space for crowded traffic between them and the length of barstools. But all that was geographic and only secondary to my awareness, for the low lit place was alive with glowing green necklaces, glowing green headbands, flashing green buttons, flashing green hat accessories, flashing green plastic wands, flashing green leprechauns (not really, I was just seeing if you were paying attention and weren’t distracted by all the pretty lights) and an array of digitally dancing beams that panned down on the mingled crowd from above. Light blasted in green edged swirls, noise beat hard the breath I chewed, motion knotted itself in compound flow around the room and the overt energies of youth called like a siren’s song (perhaps a trailing police vehicle?) to my anticipations in sensory overload: just what I wanted for inspiration!
I stood and swept the room as clean as I could with my dust pan glance, but could not get the dirt on where my mates were located, so I had to do the dirty work on foot. I opted to the right and proceeded to wind, squeeze and twist through the loudly (to succeed over the music) conversant patrons, noticing that a great many of these chattering folks, dancing in the aisles with uninhibited verve (and on whom most of the flashing green was displayed), were young, attractive females. This was, in fact, not a problem. I persevered about half-way along the bar without seeing my friends, when I realized that I did not need their assistance or presence in acquiring a suitable beverage. So I stepped up to the bar at an unoccupied seat between people, caught the attentions of a bar tender, tendered my order and waited for the resultant libation. The girl sitting on my left made a smiling comment to me, but my poorly functioning auditory receptors could not hear, let alone understand, her words, frustrating my social interaction and disappointing my desire for just such an interaction. I thought about the effort and potential effect of explaining to her my (aged) infirmity, but realized that it would most likely be more from me than her quip had intentioned. So I did the manly thing and nodded, smiled and turned back to the bar. Wimp.
My glass arrived, I paid and then continued on my travels to search out my companions in order to share experience of this raucous place. I charted my coursing through the thick and thin, around hills and dales of shapely countryside, past the large and small people that shared the energies of the night, came around the end of the bar and back toward the front along the other side. I hove to the well-peopled passage nearer the anchoring influence of the bar, and navigated back toward the front of the room. I was nearing the launching point of my circumspection, when I recognized another player from the winning team, just stepping in through the entryway. We made eye-contact, (being tall has its advantages), waved and I plowed over to shake hands and greet. He said he was looking for his team and I informed him that I had seen one of his teammates before I entered the bar. I told him I was looking for volleyball players as well, but was having no luck, but was finding plenty of people I did not recognize. We exchanged names (much better than mentally referring to him as the-thin-balding-guy-who-hits-well) and he said he was going back outside to call and locate his friends via technology. I opted for the manual/visual approach, as I was sure that a phone call into (or out from) this place would be difficult at best. I don’t text. We wished each other luck (be careful with that), he turned and exited, and I went on with my travels, having seen stairs in the corner which I presumed would lead me to the upper level.
Step up, then around to the left and further up to see a barmaid flounce her mini-kilt behind the open end of a small bar for the high-weighed patrons thereabouts, saving them the trek downstairs for refurbishmentalities. Things are looking up …Cheers! I reached the floor then scooped this elevated loop like a downtown Chicago connection, and discovered bathrooms around the far corner, but not my friends. I parked myself at the railing, near the stairs where I had come up, and watched the commotion below, enjoying the green light chaos contrasted with the computer light precision. I thought about stationing myself right there along the rail to find my intended, transcriptive literary inspiration, when I saw a familiar hat down below. It was perched on the head of one of my friends, sitting at a table along the far wall under the second level overhang. My other teammate was sitting next to him. (Their table was on the other side of the row of free standing tables away from where I had transversed that side of the room, thus putting the ‘miss’ in my mission to find them.) Hurray, they weren’t lost any more! (I’m sure they will be relieved to learn that.) I stepped down the stairs to give them this exciting news, but stopped on the landing at the bend near the bottom, where I could see that my two friends (B and D, to differentiate and label them without their becoming too personally involved in my tale) were quite readily observable from where I stood, as they sat facing me at the second table from the bottom of the few steps down from my stand. There were three chairs to a side of each table and an unfamiliar couple was sitting across their table from my friends, with their backs to me. I deduced that the limited space for the overload of patrons required some cooperative sharing of available tabled/seating space. I waited for one of my mates to notice me ‘magically’ appear on the stairway landing right before their eyes, but they were looking off to their left (my right) at one of the many video screens in action (always room for more sensory input) around the bar. I paid homage to curiosity and looked to see that a video show displayed (on the nearest screen, the others were elsewise occupied in content) the antics of people and animals with things stuck on their heads. It was actually quite (benignly) amusing, so I stood and watched for a few minutes. I finally saw B look up toward the stairs, so I smiled and waved, and he looked away without seeing me. Grumble grumble. What good is a simple mind game if people don’t mind the simple rules and notice the situation I’ve manipulated? So I came down the last few steps and over to their table, just as a waitress brought a tray with two plates of food. Good timing! The waitress delivered and left, and I stepped up to the end of the table and asked, “Is the food any good here?” getting a startled look in return recognized surprise.
“Oh. You’re here!” was the deduction B offered, and I did not deny the assertion. I told B of my search for them and that I had recognized his hat from above. A heads up ploy, for sure. I asked D, sitting in the middle chair of the three on their side, to spread out as I squeezed in to the empty seat against the wall, placed my wine on the table, put my jacket on the chair back, and sat down. We shouted conversation a bit as they ate, commenting on the scene, the three of us ‘older’ guys not used to this kind of overt, energetic revelry. The couple on the other side of the table was preoccupied with itself and did not interact with us.
By the time burgers were consumed, I was feeling the touch of creative inspiration and decided it was time to start writing, which was my general purpose in this latter evening situation. I reached for my… uhh… oh. My notebook is in the bag that had my change of clothes, still chilling in the car. I told B and D that I had to go to the car to get my notebook and that I’d be right back. I shrugged into my coat, squeezed out past my teammates, wound my way through the crowd to the door, strode past the line to get in, grimaced by the smokers, and stepped out into the cool of the night. Wow… chilly, maybe I should have zipped my jacket. But, only half a block, and I quickly huddled on, unlocked the car, opened the door, found the bag, fished out the notebook, closed the bag, shut and locked the door and started to trudge back to the bar just as three pretty girls walked by in the same direction. So, luck being the erratic foil of the eve, I followed them back down the street. One tight pair of pants and two very short (and cold, I’m sure) skirts kept my interest well enough focused that, as they turned into an unfamiliar bar near the end of the street, I realized I’d walked right on by the one I had come from. 20/20 hindsight (putting a double ENDtendre to the term). Pivot, walk back a few storefronts to stand in line to (re)enter as I.D.’s were being scrutinized. I waited my turn, and then, as I stepped up to the guy who was looking at everyone’s driver’s license and sticking them in some kind of scanning device before allowing them past, confronted his perusal. I looked at him with a smile and said, “Do you really need to card me?” He laughed and said, “No.” Revel in the little advantages to aging.
I slip slid through the crowd back to the table to find that the couple had left and B and D had moved over to that other side to be able to see the dance area better. The green lighting was moving loud and the beat of the activity was entrancing. I returned to my spot across from them, putting the book on the table and my jacket on the back of the chair once more, and watched the commotion for a few seconds. I then faced the table top, turned open the book, and pulled out my ….my …my pen is …not with me. Oh yeah! I …uh, …I left it in the same bag as the book. Well. Okay. Mental chuckles and shrugs. I admitted to the guys that I had to now go back out to the car and get a pen. I sighed, then I repeated the process of shrugging off to the car (… chilly, maybe I should have zipped my jacket…), retrieved the errant device and returned with no further adventures, even strolling in to the bar without having to ask if I didn’t need to show my identification to prove I was who I am as old as I look, and set myself back at the table. The noise, the motion, the lights, the voices, the videos, the clatter and bustle of a busy bar, and the youthful, exuberant energy that rides in symbiotic reinforcement of it all, put forth its primal drum beat call to my intentioned, creative urge. The muse was clanging in my ear, but I couldn’t hear it, and wouldn’t have noticed anyway, for it was time to write, as I opened the notebook, clicked the pen and put down on paper the basis for what now (finally) follows. Game on.
There ends the reworded transcription. I haven’t bothered reading the actual journal entry, and I am trusting it to its own deceptions. Play that on your courted efforts.
Pulse the Pounding Air