Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Sherlock, Potter and pen pals

I had a relaxing Fourth of July weekend with Puck and their family in Staten Island. For the second year in a row, we missed the big fireworks show, but at least we got to view the movie 1776, based on the Broadway musical play, which Puck considers to be the second-best musical they’ve ever seen (Les Miz being the first – they have a thing for revolutions).

The family entertained various guests throughout the weekend, and I helped Puck clean up their room, in between watching episodes of Dr. Who, a Russian-language version of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and the BBC’s modern take titled Sherlock. We’ve both been a bit consumed by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s celebrated detective – I loaned them my volume of Doyle’s original stories (an extra volume I had on hand in addition to my three-volume annotated version) and I’m reading a modern take called Dust and Shadow, which has been thoroughly engrossing and promises to be a worthy competitor to Edward Hanna’s The Whitechapel Horrors that I read many years ago. I’m also watching the Johnny Depp movie From Hell on my laptop, loosely based on Alan Moore’s graphic novel of the same name. That’s next on my reading list after I finish Dust.

As Puck’s family does every year, we had toasts celebrating the birth of this great nation, and I was gladdened by their mom’s toast that alluded to my relationship with Puck. She talked about how they immigrated here to have the freedom to live how they wanted to live, and to also give their children that same freedom, and looking at her children now (Puck was the only one in attendance) she could see that they are doing just that.

Prior to this weekend, I will also say that last week was also notable from a socializing standpoint. Open Love NY was on Tuesday, and a rare opportunity for Puck to attend. I was not in the best of moods that night, so I can’t say I really enjoyed it as much as I would have normally when they are there with me. Wednesday was the Poly Women’s Group, held back at the Whole Foods Market on Houston. We had a nice group of five including me, Sylwia, Katie and two new women, and we had a good share of our stories.

In a rare third night in a row being out for me, I met up with a new friend named Kacey on Thursday night to walk the High Line Park and explore some art galleries in Chelsea. I first met Kacey at Storm’s party (“Easter egg party” – April 24, 2011) and this is the first time we’ve spent time together since then. Another of her friends was going to come, but had to back out because of a housing emergency, so we were on our own. We saw the beautiful sunset from the High Line and walked from 14th Street to the 20s before coming down and looking for galleries, but they were all closed. We went back up to the park and walked to the termination at 33rd Street and talked on a bench there until they kicked us out at 11 p.m.

I invited Kacey to come see the Harry Potter double-feature finale with me on July 14 (the day before my 7th birthday) and hopefully she will come. This birthday has some significance to me because it will be my first without a sweetie of mine present (since Puck will be in St. Petersburg, Russia). That I chose to celebrate it in this manner is my version of a do-over from my 5th birthday, as this account from one of my private communications explains:

I’m particularly sensitive about my birthday being ruined by drama, because that’s all I remember about last year, my 5th birthday and the last one with my family. Tara and I got into a huge fight while waiting in line for opening night of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It’s probably the only time we fought in front of Bee and Bug, because they had to stay in line and couldn’t leave – plus we were in public so that was embarrassing beyond measure. It was extremely traumatic for me, and I don’t ever want that to happen again.

So hopefully, this 7th birthday will go off peacefully and smoothly, and give me one last positive memory of seeing a Harry Potter premiere.

Friday night I was ready to spend a quiet evening at home, but was pleasantly surprised to hear from my best friend Lori, who is newly single. We went out for dinner and ice cream, and came back to my place to have a long catch-up talk. I am gratified that nearly four years after we first met through a personal ad, we still have the ability to be close friends.

I’ve been thinking about so many people from my past today, especially ex-pen pals that I’ve lost touch with. Some former pen pals like Lori and Agnieszka (with whom I’m planning a trip to Ireland this month) made the jump to becoming real-life best friends. But many other people I thought I had a strong connection with online (a Miss Catherine Newton, another woman named Cara, Danielle, who I see occasionally at Poly Cocktails) either lost touch with me or we didn’t connect in real life.

My friend Linda in Texas is my closest confidant online, and I write occasionally to someone named Destiny in New Jersey, but we’ve never met. Linda occupies the singular position of being the only person to whom I maintain a regular, current connection and has met me in both my previous and present incarnations. It’s likely she may be the only person to ever achieve this distinction in the foreseeable future. I just wanted to articulate the very obscure, yet simple reason why our relationship is so special to me.