Sunday, May 9, 2010

Cashed Out, but Full Up...

You are never too far away from a Johnny Cash song - and Friday night in Ballard was the perfect example of some of that twangy raw nerved emotion that Johnny Cash put on vinyl over the course of his long career - plucking guitar and singing for folks - smiling and laughing for crowds - that would have been someone I would have wanted to see play if I had the chance - I never had the chance - but could only imagine that there were plenty of smoky honky tonks that were full of folks enjoying music a little too loud and beer a little too cold. 

The Tractor is a yuppie something kind of place - eclectic, in a thirty something community just North of Downtown Seattle - there are shops that sell just about everything, and to anyone, and mostly at anytime - it is the kind of place where you feel safe wandering at three am and two pm alike - a place where the cafes and shops melt into the sidewalks and push sights and smells of different countries into the streets.  In the spring, the flowers are blooming in the terra cotta pots, and the hanging baskets, and on Friday nights, when the temperature climbs above sixty degrees, the bees milling around the snapdragons are the only thing more plentiful than the folks milling about the storefronts. 

We decided to go see a Johnny Cash tribute band - playing at the Tractor, and used some of my hard earned Hilton Honors points to get a room downtown, and that meant we both could enjoy ourselves without the fear of having to operate heavy machinery after a few tall cold drinks.  The afternoon started slow enough - both of us anxiously trying to get out of the office, rush to the apartment, grab some clothes - we were ready to start the evening together - we know what Friday nights can be, and we seem to look forward to them just the same.  Getting to Ballard through the parking lot known as Interstate 5 was not helping us temper our excitement, but it was time spent together - even if it was sucking exhaust from the other folks who were trying to get somewhere to enjoy the rest of the afternoon.

Peso's Cafe is this rustic Mexican place with a Gulf inspired menu, everything tweaked to the high end of spicy, but tempered enough by cold Margarita's that the food does not steam so much.  Dinners with Cadence are nice - they are nice in that I don't mind sharing my meal, in fact, I like it, I don't mind having a conversation - they are intelligent and thoughtful conversations - somewhat foreign to me, but I do want to know what the thoughts are that are going on inside of her head - I want to know where she thinks she might be in three years, where we might be in three years - what she wants to be in three years.  I really never thought that far in advance - I never had the desire to plan anything - I did not think it was worth it, I was end a dead end relationship with a dead end person and there were nothing more than U-Turns and laundry and overweight discussions to look forward to - it was sad.  Now, it is not so sad - the only sadness I typically feel is on those Sunday afternoons, like this afternoon, when all I have are some photographs of us holding hands and the answers to the questions over those long dinners - I like the questions - I like that we have the same thoughts and the same ideas - maybe another child in three years - maybe living in the same city in three years - maybe all of this other stuff will be behind us in another three years - maybe.  Just a huge bag of maybes - but still, it is fun to talk about and even more interesting to enjoy the time for a little while.

So after a couple of crisp lime drinks and some spicy hot Mexican food - we worked our way to the bar - stopping at points along the way - getting sidelined by some less than coherent Swedish Lady - the resident racist who was not so sure why the Germans lost the war, but made it pretty clear to me that there are a few folks out there that I would prefer not to associate with - reminded me that you have to be careful about who you run into - and who you decide to sit next to at the bar - the rest of the evening, we just kind of strategically missed that couple - and wondered about the poor folks who had to sit next to them - the bar they were in was a fishermans bar - the tequilla tasted like a mix of hairspray and gasoline - but we managed to finish those drinks without anymore racist slurs, or innuendos - and moved on to the next place, a little gift shop with quirky things and baubles and trinkets that make a semi-buzzed thirty something go nuts - so I bought a few things - some pens with nifty little sayings, a couple of friendship bracelets, and then - there we were - walking into the Tractor to hear Johnny Cash sound and look alikes pump out music while sipping tall boys of Olympia beer - (we were drinking PBR - which is extremely popular in the Northwest, and thus far, I can find only one bar in the Southeast that serves the stuff - Pete's Bar and Grill - but that is another bar for another weekend on another side of the world -

Johnny Cash tribute bands are not that original - in fact, they make a living off of not being orignal, but being as close to the real thing as possible - and the Cash that we got was a pretty good likeness - his voice had that deep bellowing soulfull feeling, and the sweet sticky feeling of my dance partner pressing up against me to Get Rythm could not be surpassed - you could see the smile in her deep brown eyes, and her laughter as she tried her best to let me lead in some drunken coordinated dance on a packed dance floor - and then the slow songs - Sunday Morning Coming Down - her cheeks pressed tight against my neck, her humming to the song, I knew she was happy, and I hope she knew that I was happy - I am sure she knew that I was happy.

The rest of the night - well cab fares and crazies, but that is all in line with a Friday night and a Johnny Cash Tribute band - but I do have to admit that this Sunday, when I woke, there was not a reason in the world to feel any emptiness, or even think that I was not full -

So where will you be in three years?


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