a poem about friendship
|Beach Street Slow afternoon
We drank red wine and said very little
for a while
it was a solid red. I bought it from Steve’s, said David.
I always go there. A California red, with long lasting harmonics.
A wine for a slow afternoon.
Peace can accommodate silence.
It takes time and grace to savor the pleasure of meeting again.
A police car left the station across the street, sirens screaming.
It is such a beautiful day, said David. We sat and just enjoyed our happiness.
Such a long trip, he added. And here you are.
Then we talked. Slowly, as if we were learning a language, our language.
Friends have their own way to say the world is round.
We talked of past lives and present worries.
We had big hearts, we loved them all. That much we remembered from our youth.
It had been such a surprise, he explained, that morning, when he arrived from California and found Beatrice here, with her long legs.
We had big hearts. And searched loves to match our dreams.
It has been such a long trip, I told David. So many times across so many waters. We counted cities, told ourselves stories of the early years.
Like meeting at Dave's corner, and later using a picture of Terri drinking egg cream for a Belgian magazine.
But Dave's corner is no more.
Yes it was a lovely day.
And we seem to always come back to New York
It is time to have another lunch at the Oyster Bar I said. An old habit, a ritual, a pleasure. A meal to reassure us that friendship does not suffer from our separated lives.
The telephone rang. It was a man from Boston asking for my biography. In case I write a notice about you in a music dictionary, he explained. How strange I told David that somebody I never met is aware of my most fugitive music. And calls me here, the precise minute of the day of the year I came back.
David said it was all very natural.
It suddenly felt like too many years had gone by. We had another glass of wine. Smiled at the bottle, thought of California.
There was little need for words. We had both been there.
I am so glad you came, David said. Another police car left the station. There is no place like New York in the fall.
Our world was at peace.
Its fragility was apparent from every noise, from the distant echoes of our own music.
17 November 1990